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The Truth Behind Children & Screen Time

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of children diagnosed with Digital Eye Strain or Computer Vision Disease (CVS). Digital Eye Strain is a condition that affects people who spend extended periods using computers, smartphones, tablets, and other electronic screens. The effects are due to the constant focusing and refocusing of the eyes on the screen. Additionally, people tend to blink less when using digital devices, which causes eye fatigue, strain, and dryness.

Kids today spend more time playing and doing schoolwork on digital devices than ever before, and because their eyes are still developing, they are at greater risk for digital eye strain. With the increase in virtual, remote, and blended learning, we wanted to give you some tips to protect your children’s eyes.

1. Limiting Screen Glare

Beware of the glare on the screen. Think about investing in an anti-glare protector or adjusting the display settings on the device.

2. Blue Light Glasses

Computer glasses for pediatric patients are designed to address digital eye strain and provide blue light protection. They can be prescribed for children who spend significant time on digital devices.

3. Position of Device

Position devices correctly to reduce eye strain. When using a tablet, the best position is flat in front of you or slightly angled. The ideal screen position for computer use is a 10-15 degree angle BELOW eye level. Make sure your child's workspace is set up for the size of a child and not an adult, as this changes the necessary adjustments.

4. Take Breaks

Make sure they are taking eye breaks. Experts recommend kids need a break from looking at a digital screen every 20 minutes. They commonly refer to the 20/20/20 rule, in which every 20 minutes, a person should look away from the screen and focus on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Each hour a 10-minute break is recommended every hour for good eye health.

5. Set time limits

Our doctors recommend limiting screen time. Since kids will have to use digital devices in school, playtime should be spent without devices as much as possible. Ensure you incorporate physical, active, and outdoor play for your child to reduce eye strain.

Good luck to all as we start another school year!


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