Is Too Much Screen Time Harmful to My Children's Eyes?
With the increase in digital technology, you’ll often find children in front of the TV, a computer, a gadget, or a smartphone.
According to a Common Sense Media survey, kids under the age of 8 years old spend at least 2 hours a day with screen media. Digital screen time gets tripled for those aged 8 to 10 years old, and kids in middle school or high school may spend a minimum of 9 hours a day. Whether it’s for education or entertainment, kids and technology are inseparable.
If you’re wondering whether your kids’ screen time will cause problems with their vision, the answer is a resounding YES. If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms below, your child may be suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain:
- Blurred vision
- Problems shifting focus to items at a distance
- Eye fatigue
- Neck and shoulder pain
Compared to adults, kids are more likely to deal with digital eye strain because most often they are unaware that they are having problems and are more likely to forget the length of time they’ve spent in front of the screen without taking any breaks. Also, children usually think that everyone sees the same way they do making their vision problems go undetected and untreated.
Electronic gadgets are, again, great for education and leisure. Rather than banish them, it would be better to train your kids to moderate their use of them. Here are a few tips you can do to get started:
- Limit their use of digital devices with experts saying the maximum screen time should be 2 hours a day.
- Teach them the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, they should take a break for 20 seconds and look at an object 20 feet away.
- Correct their manner of holding their handheld devices making sure that they learn proper positioning.
- Adjust the device’s brightness, enable night mode, and increase text size on the screen.
- Remind them to blink their eyes more often to keep them moist.
- Create a bedtime routine. Since screen time affects the natural sleep cycle, turn off all devices at least 1 hour before bedtime and charge them outside the bedroom to avoid any temptation.
- Invest in kids’ blue light blockers to protect their eyes. Check our new kids' blue blockers here.
- Schedule routine eye check-ups
Our kids did not develop this habit of excessive screen time on their own. Most often, they model their behavior from our own. Monkey sees, monkey does. As parents, it would be best to set a good example for our kids. These tips will be more successful if we model good habits and follow the tips mentioned above in front of our kids.
The Empire & Co Team