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Eye Health for Children in the Digital Age

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • If parents allow their children to use smartphones and tablets for long periods of time, this can increase the child’s risk of nearsightedness and even ADHD.
  • An easy way to relax your eyes is to look away from the digital device screen for 30 seconds. You should also avoid staring at the blue light from digital device screens for more than 6 hours a day.

Technology currently plays an incredibly important role in the world, so much so that it has quite nearly become one of the most fundamental factors in daily life. One area where this is clearly seen is in the fact that most parents/guardians like to provide their children with smartphones and/or tablets for use in communication or entertainment. However, it must be said that these electronic devices can and may result in problems and negative effects on children, both in the short and long run.

When children stare at the blue light from digital device screens for long periods of time, their eyes can become dry and irritated due to decreased eye blink rate reducing moisture in the eyes, which increases the risk of nearsightedness or various painful symptoms, such as eye strain and headaches. Exposure to outdoor light is good for the eyes and can reduce the chances having nearsightedness.

The time a child is born until about 6 years of age, is the most important time period in the child’s development and learning stimulation. When parents allow their children to use smartphones and tablets for long periods of time, this hinders their development, keeps them from the much needed movements and activities, affects their health and body strength, and can cause a risk of developing ADHD.

Tips to Help Protect Children’s Eyes from Premature Deterioration

  • Make changes in your child’s environment to provide adequate lighting, which will help reduce screen brightness.
  • Avoid staring at a screen for long periods of time. Rest the eyes by looking far into the distance or take some time looking around at the garden to reduce eye fatigue.
  • Get regular eye checkups, at least once a year.

One of the most important factors and the best way for a child to learn is through motivation and teachings from parents. You can involve them in active or better yet, outdoor activities to help them embrace and enjoy the experiences so they choose them over the screens. You could, for instance, paint or do some art and crafts, play sports or water the plants together, take your child out for walks, go to the park, or take a trip to the museum.

 


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