How to Protect Your Children from Screen Time-induced Eye Strain
- Posted on: Aug 31 2020
In honor of August being Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month, the team at Slade & Baker Vision would love to provide our patients with some helpful information to our patients and their families to help protect their little ones’ precious vision
We know August is coming to a close, but it’s never too late to start being more careful, and it’s very fitting that school has just begun for many children of all ages in a virtual format due to the pandemic, so screen time has been and will continue to be at a level that many parents were not prepared for and not happy about.
In a recent New York times article, it was found that over 70% of parents are concerned with this increased screen time for their children due to coronavirus.
The article also gave some great tips that our doctors feel are important for all of our patients who are parents or grandparents to know and try to use when possible!
Push the Screen Back
Recent data shows that myopia is increasing and has been linked to a higher risk of other eye diseases. One way to try to avoid a higher likelihood of myopia for your children is by moving their screen/device 2 feet away from the face, as opposed to 10-12 inches which is what we are used to. The closer the screen is, the more our eyes need to focus to keep the image very sharp so it leads to strain and can possibly worsen the viewer’s level of myopia. The article recommends that the shortest distance a child should ever watch their screen should be a hand-to-elbow distance from the screen.
Take breaks – the 20/20/20 rule
After a child, adolescent, or adult has been viewing their screen for 20 minutes, they should look away at something else which is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This provides a break for your eyes to return back to their natural position.
Look out for any issues with vision
Keep a close eye on your kiddos to see if they are rubbing their eyes more, blinking more or complaining of headaches. If you notice they are extra tired or cranky, these could also be signs of underlying vision issues.
Eye Exams and Vision Screenings
Taking your child to regular vision screenings will help monitor any growing vision issues. It’s so important that they have regular eye exams since children may not know they have anything wrong. Teachers oftentimes detect vision issues, so in today’s pandemic situation, if your child is virtually learning, make sure to keep their regular scheduled vision screenings/eye exams to ensure that all is well with their eyes!
Our doctors at Slade & Baker Vision highly encourage pediatric vision screenings and we are happy to see children 8 and up for their regular vision screenings. Please give us a call at 713-626-5544 to schedule their exam, and if your child is younger than 8, we are more than happy to recommend a great eye doctor close and convenient to you that can help!