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This post will explain what digital eye strain is, its symptoms, and provide practical tips for preventing it.

PARENT QUESTION: What is the connection between screen time and eye health?

by | Jun 27, 2024 | Blog | 0 comments

Managing Screen Time for Children’s Eye Health

In today’s digital age, children are exposed to screens from an early age, whether it’s for learning, entertainment, or communication. While technology offers numerous benefits, excessive screen time can negatively impact children’s eye health. Here, we discuss guidelines for appropriate screen time, its impact, and tips to protect children’s eyes.

Appropriate Screen Time Guidelines

Infants (0-18 months): Screen time is discouraged, except for video chatting.

Toddlers (18-24 months): Limited, high-quality programming is acceptable, but parents should co-view and discuss the content.

Preschoolers (2-5 years): Limit screen time to one hour per day of high-quality programming, with parental involvement.

School-aged children (6 years and older): Consistent limits on screen time, ensuring it does not interfere with sleep, physical activity, and other essential behaviors.

Impact of Excessive Screen Time

Digital Eye Strain: Prolonged screen use can lead to digital eye strain, characterized by dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain.

Myopia: Studies suggest a link between excessive screen time and the development of myopia in children.

Disrupted Sleep: The blue light emitted by screens can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep, leading to sleep disturbances.

Reduced Physical Activity: Excessive screen time can result in a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to obesity and related health issues.

Tips to Protect Children’s Eyes

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule: Encourage children to take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Adjust Screen Settings: Ensure screens are at eye level and adjust brightness and contrast to reduce glare. Use blue light filters or glasses if necessary.

Create a Screen-Free Zone: Designate areas in the home, such as the dining room and bedrooms, as screen-free zones to encourage other activities and ensure good sleep hygiene.

Encourage Outdoor Activities: Spending time outdoors can help reduce the risk of developing myopia and promote overall health.

Regular Eye Exams: Schedule routine eye exams to monitor your child’s vision and detect any issues early.

NOTE: The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. It is inherently limited and should not be solely relied upon. Always seek the advice of a medical professional for any medical questions or concerns. The content of this blog post does not create a patient-physician relationship and is not intended as medical or patient advice. Consult a doctor for answers to all medical matters.

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