Mom and dads, it’s no secret- kids are in front of screens now more than ever before. Growing up in the digital age, from virtual learning to computers, video games, and iPads, kids are averaging about 6 hours of screen time a day and teens almost 9 hours! Although this may seem like “everyday” behavior and normal routine, too much exposure to screen time can lead to behavior and sleep problems and damage the overall health of your child’s eyes.
If you find that your child or teen is constantly glued to their phone or television screen- don’t panic! Our Sr. Director of Pediatrics at Trusted Medical, Kelly Ann, is here to share some tips to help you protect your child’s eyes from suffering as a result of too much screen time.
Too Much Screen Time Can Damage Your Child’s Eyes
Eye health is critical to your child’s overall physical health but it’s generally something that is overlooked. Too much screen time for kids can damage their vision and the overall health of their eyes. It can strain their eyes causing eye fatigue, dry and irritated eyes, and it can also cause loss of focus flexibility where children find it difficult to adjust to distance vision after staring at a screen.
Limit Your Child’s Screen Time
It’s important to set clear limits on how much your child is on screens. You can monitor your child’s screen time by encouraging him or her to spend time outdoors and get exposure to natural daylight – which helps develop their eyes. Establish screen-free zones — like no screen time during meals, in the car, or before bed. And set a clear rule that every 20 mins of screen time means a 2-minute screen-free break. It’s very important to note that while they ARE using the screens — Make sure the distance from the screen to the eyes is 20-40 inches.
Schedule Your Child’s Annual Eye Exam
Lastly, your child must be scheduled for their yearly eye exam by a pediatric ophthalmologist or optometrist starting at age 6.
And remember — If your child develops headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, itchy or pain in the eyes seek medical attention — which you can find right here at Trusted Pediatrics.
As always, we are here for you – “caring for yours as if they were our own.”