We’ve all heard this. Either from our parents, friends or eye health experts that the light emitted from our digital devices is harmful, especially for kids. Well, it’s true! According to a recent National Eye Institute-funded study, children’s eyes absorb more blue light than adults’ from digital device screens. This can lead to digital eye strain which can affect vision, sleep patterns and their overall health over the years. Never mind the development issues that arise from excessive screen time!
Until this year, parents have tried hard to limit their kids from spending too much time on their laptops, tablets, television and phones. But the current COVID-19 situation has left them with no choice but to allow their kids time with their devices. Thanks to lockdown boredom and the tech experience, schools around the world are using screens to conduct classes online! But at what cost? Parents, don’t worry, your children don’t have to completely restrict their “IPad time”. There are ways to manage and minimize their exposure to blue light with a few tweaks and protection of course.
Before we dig deeper into ways to protect your child’s eye health, let’s understand what is blue light. Scroll down.
Into The Blue
Since children’s eyes are fully developed, they are affected more intensely by the sun’s UV rays and blue light. But what exactly is blue light?
Artificial blue light, often referred to as a high-energy visible light, has a wavelength of 400 to 490 nanometres. It is emitted by digital device screens, such as computers, smartphones, televisions and other devices whereas natural blue light comes from sunlight and contributes towards sleep. The blue light exposure from the sun is a significant source but as per research the extra blue light exposure from LED screens might increase the risk of eye-related issues. In recent times, with kids being part of this dynamic digital world, it’s difficult for them to escape from blue light but they can certainly incorporate a few practises to limit exposure.
Watching Movies And Playing Video Games. Is it Worth It?
The digital and competitive era we live in sometimes puts a lot of pressure on parents to raise their kids in a particular way. Parents want their kids to be tech-friendly and exposed to the latest gadgets but at the same time need to care for their eye health as well. The occasional video game and movie on the weekends is acceptable, but too much screen time will cause myriad symptoms including:
- Blurry vision
- Insomnia (due to use of digital devices before before)
Digital eye strain
Dry, irritated eyes
Vision loss (due to increased exposure to blue light which leads to age-related macular degeneration)
Back and neck pain
Give It A Break
This is very important. Get your kids into the habit of taking a break from their digital devices every 20 minutes. Let them look at something that’s anything but a screen! This will help relax the eye muscles and eventually reduce eye strain. Get them to play outside—regular exercise can help reduce the chances of developing short-sightedness (myopia).
Right Posture, Check
Computer vision syndrome comes with a set of non-visual symptoms which include a stiff neck and back pain. Usually, when kids are glued to their screen they tend to lose a sense of their posture. Taking a 20-minute eye break is important, but checking for posture like sitting up straight and realigning the head, neck and shoulders is equally crucial. Kids must be taught simple side-to-side head movements and neck rotations to relieve tense muscles and alleviate tiredness. Apart from this, a quick walk and entire body stretch are great options as well.
Digital Time Out
Parents, when it comes to your kids’ viewing habits, stick to limited screen limit. Doing so will automatically reduce eye fatigue and headaches. Use the media-free time to bond with other family members and involve them in some creative activity like painting, gardening or even cooking. You can also use the night mode setting to reduce the amount of blue light emitting from their screens during night-time.
Eye Eye Doctor
Check your calendar and schedule an eye exam date for your children every year. The optometrist will perform a series of tests to check eye health in general and also provide specific suggestions to reduce any kind of symptoms arising from prolonged exposure to blue light. This step is important to make sure your child’s eye health stays good at present and in the long run.
Eye-mazing Pair Of Glasses
A pair of quality eyewear can protect your kid’s eye from the harmful blue light rays emitting from both sunlight and digital devices. For outdoor purposes, polarised sunglasses offer the best protection. Lenskart offers glasses specifically designed for kids; there are plenty of options to consider like this super cool polarised eyewear your kid will love to flaunt, Black Sky Blue Gradient Full Rim Rectangle Vincent Chase Polarized AIR LA S13329-C2 Polarized Sunglasses, for instance, provides 100 percent UV protection. Added bonus: it’s a trendy style and light-weight too. For indoor wear, you can opt for Blue-Block Kids Computer Glasses: Blue Transparent Full Rim Rectangle Kid (5 yrs) Lenskart Junior LKJ E10064CE-C4 a cool pair of cat eye computer glasses which is a must-have. This piece is not only fashionable but the anti-reflective feature helps the lens filter blue light, which will be quite helpful for your kids.
No doubt, children and technology are the future. Simply keep in mind to undertake these simple measures which will be very beneficial for your tech-savvy child to see clearly and comfortably in the long run.