It’s summertime and here in Florida it is very hot outside. This can mean spending time indoors to beat the heat and for your kids that often leads to excessive screen time.
Optometrist are seeing a marked increase in children with dry eye and eye strain from spending too much time using digital devices. Also, the frequency of myopia (nearsightedness) has leapt in the last decade or two. Increased time spent looking up close at screens puts strain on the eyes and can worsen myopia’s progression.
Taking breaks from digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers are the easiest way to prevent excessive exposure.
Here are a couple simple strategies to protect your child’s eyes from screen eye strain:
● Set timers and take breaks from screens every 20 minutes. Have fun and make a game of it with silly sounding alarms or impromptu dance parties while you’re taking a break.
● Encourage kids to hold digital screens 18 to 24 inches away from their faces.
● When playing video games remind your kids to look up and out the window for a minute or two when each level is completed.
● Ask your kids to evaluate the brightness on their screens if they are straining or their eyes are hurting.
● Remind children to frequently blink! It may seem trivial and it may initially take a bit of nagging, but soon they will be aware of it.
Just by making yourself and your kids aware of good screen use habits, you’re seeing to helping their eye health now and in the long run.