Can you see what I see?
March 12, 2021
Give your eyes a screen-time break!
Children spend more time than ever staring at digital screens—on computers, tablets, TVs, smartphones, and other devices. All that screen time can take a toll on children’s well being, including how their 👀 may feel.
Staring at a screen for long stretches without taking breaks can cause symptoms such as:
- Eye fatigue. Muscles around the eye, like any others, can get tired from continued use. Concentrating on a screen for extended periods can cause concentration difficulties and headaches centered around the temple and eyes.
- Blurry vision. Gazing at the same distance for an extended time can cause the eye’s focusing system to spasm or temporarily “lock up.” This condition, called an accommodation spasm, causes a child’s vision to blur when he or she looks away from the screen.
- Dry eyes. Studies show that people blink significantly less often when concentrating on a digital screen, which can leave eyes dry and irritated.
What Parents Can Do?
Monitor screen time. Two especially important aspects of this are making sure screens don’t cut into:
- Sleep. Not getting enough shut-eye leads to tired, sore eyes.
- Exercise. Putting down the device or stepping away from the computer or TV can help avoid eye and vision problems from too much screen time.. Active play is the best exercise for young children. Outside play can also be a great “workout” for children’s vision—giving them a chance to focus at different distances and getting exposure to natural sunlight.
Take frequent breaks. Children frequently get so absorbed in what they’re doing that they don’t notice symptoms of eye strain. Remind them to take breaks.
Remember to blink. Research published in The New England Journal of Medicine says staring at a computer can cut blinking rates by half and cause dry eyes
Screen positioning. Make sure the screen on your child’s desktop or laptop computer is slightly below eye level. Looking up at a screen opens eyes wider and dries them out quicker.
Get regular vision screenings. If your child is having blurry vision or similar eye problems, he or she may not speak up. That’s why regular vision screenings are important.Next Post >>