Many kids received a new computer, tablet, or electronic gadget of some sort this holiday season. These devices are great for keeping them entertained or for helping them with homework. However, it is also important to remember the effect that sitting in front of a screen for prolonged periods of time can have on kids’ eyes.
Spending too much time using electronic devices causes stress on the eyes, as such tasks involve a higher degree of focus than others, and can lead to a condition known as computer vision syndrome and cause computer eye strain. Children are at a higher risk than adults of developing the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, All About Vision explains. Such symptoms include eye discomfort, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue. By using the following tips, you can prevent this issue from occurring and maintain your children’s eye safety.
First, ABC News recommends setting up computer workspaces so that they are suitable for children’s smaller bodies. You should also make sure that screens are angled slightly downward at a 15-degree angle, which reduces strain on the eyes and neck. Prevent Blindness America and EyeSmart have additional helpful tips for ensuring your child’s workspace is set up to reduce the computer eye strain issues.
Other suggestions for reducing the likelihood of vision problems related to computer use recommended by The Vision Therapy Center include:
- Incorporating some time for movement into your kids’ daily routine. Not only does this take time away from the computer, it also helps children develop good visual skills by exploring movement in a visual space.
- Maintaining good lighting in the room. Never let your kids use electronic devices in low light or darkness.
Of course, there are many other steps to take to keep your children’s eyes healthy. As She Knows advises, you should always make sure your children receive eye tests on a regular basis. Your kids should begin having eye exams when they are six months old and have their second test at the age of three. Once they have begun school, they should be receiving eye exams on a yearly basis. And when kids are using a computer or tablet for homework or play, have them follow the 20/20/20 rule. This states that you should stop using the device every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet for no less than 20 seconds to give their eyes a break.
You should always consult with your child’s pediatrician or eye doctor your child shows symptoms of computer eye strain or if the symptoms are persistent or worsen, or if you have any other concerns about your children’s eye and vision health.
Don’t forget, sunglasses are essential for keeping kids’ eyes safe from UV exposure when they’re taking a break from the electronic devices outdoors. Visit the Real Kids Shades website today to purchase a pair of our stylish and protective shades for your child!