It was hard enough to get kids away from their electronic devices when they were only using them for games. Now that online learning has become the norm, there is an even greater need to assess the effect all that screen time may be having on your kid’s eyes. Fortunately, if you implement an effective plan you can ensure that their eyes remain healthy while they’re learning.
Why Is All This Screen Time Bad?
Parents and guardians have been warning their children to step away from their electronic devices for years. The good news is that the doctors agree. Studies show that electronic screens can place a tremendous strain on the eyes. That’s because the eyes aren’t meant to spend so much time staring at the same location.
The consequences of staring at a screen all day usually include eye strain or fatigue, dry eyes, and blurry vision. There might be long-term effects such as chronic ocular irritation. Some kids may even develop a condition known as blepharospasms, which is characterized by excessive blinking and facial tics.
To make things worse, getting too much screen time close to bedtime can disrupt your kid’s sleep cycle. That means their eyes will get even less rest than they need.
How To Keep Their Eyes Healthy
These five tips form the backbone of what health experts recommend for parents and guardians who need to limit the negative effect of screen time. While using them as a guide, you can tailor a program that works best for you.
1. Take Scheduled Breaks
To combat the effects of staring at the screen for a while, follow the 20/20/20 rule. That entails looking away from the device every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at something that is a minimum of 20 feet away. Some doctors also recommend incorporating a 30/30/30 rule, which follows the same principle.
2. Walk Away From The Screen
Even with the breaks, it’s best to get your child to go do something else. As soon as it’s possible, encourage them to walk away from the device. The break can include a nap or some form of physical activity. Either one has its benefits.
3. Use The Right Lighting
Your kid’s eyes have a hard enough time with the device’s unrelenting screen light, having them sit in harsh lighting only makes things worse. The glare from a bright bulb, especially one that is located right behind the child puts eyes under pressure. Natural lighting or close to it is better. Doctors also advise against using electronic devices in complete darkness.