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Impact of Digital Devices on Children's EyesightBlue light emitted from digital devices are affecting children's vision. According to a study conducted by the Kaiser family Foundation, children and teenagers (ages 8-18) spend more than 7 hours a day consuming electronic media. Before age 10, children's eyes are not fully developed. The crystalline lens and cornea are still largely transparent and overexposed to light, so too much exposure to blue light may be harmful. Blue light can cause digital eye strain as well as headaches, neck and shoulder pain, blurry vision, reduced attention span, irritability, sleep pattern disruption, and poor behavior in children.  

 Blue light isn't the only cause for concern. A new Korean study found extended use of a smartphone was linked to pediatric dry eye. This study also revealed outdoor activity proved to protect children from dry eye. The small study tracked 916 children, ages 7-12 years old, from urban and rural areas and discovered 6.6 percent of these children suffered from dry eye disease. Of those, 97 percent reported using smartphones on average for more than 3 hours daily. Of the children without any dry eye symptoms, 55 percent used smartphones for an average of only 37 minutes daily.Researchers believe the cause of the dry eye is a reduction in blink rate.

How to protect your child's eyes from digital devices
  • Limit your child's screen time to two hours per day.
  • Use a blue light filter on a digital device - some digital devices come with a blue light filter built-in or you can download a blue light filter from an app store.
  • Have your child wear blue light filtering eyewear when using a digital device.
  • Instill in your children the 20/20/20 Rule. Take 20 second breaks every 20 minutes by removing your eyes from your reading material and looking 20 feet away into the distance.
  • Have your child spend time outdoors. Studies have shown outdoor activity may reduce vision conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness) and dry eye in children.


SOURCE - NVA - The Impact of Digital Devices on Children's Eyesight
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