“No phones at the dinner table. Stop texting. Did you hear what I said?” These phrases have become so common in our everyday lives that we don’t even think twice.
Most of our children own a phone and use it for, pretty much everything. The Guardian’s recent survey discovered that we spend around 2.5 hours a day glued to our smartphones. Despite such convenient devices, living our lives through multiple screens could have a glaring impact on our health.
Having a tiny computer with you wherever you go is great to keep your kids entertained. Yet, without controlling their screen time it could have harmful consequences on their development.
Phones, tablets, computers. All of our favourite technologies emit blue light that can have harmful effects on our eyesight. The artificial blue light is a cause for concern as the more time you spend on these devices and the proximity to which you sit to the screen.
Can We Notice a Problem?
Having grown up with technology, phones have become a big part of our kid’s lives. Glued to their hands, some can never leave the house without it. With so much screen time, how is this affecting their eyesight?
Children (aged 13 to 16) who need glasses has doubled in the last 10 years and many experts have alluded to the rising consumption of technology being a factor. From watching films, gaming, and to socialising, it’s hard for the younger generation to escape the glaring lights of a smartphone.
What Does It Mean for Their Eye Health?
For children who spend the majority of their time indoors, their eye development can be hindered. Spending time outdoors is not only beneficial to stay fit, but also to keep our eyes healthy too.
Screen time can cause eyes to become dry and irritated and creates problems when moving to focus on other objects. Although a lot of eye conditions linked to too much screen time are found to be progressive, it’s important to take action to prevent before it’s too late.
What Is a Good Screen Time Limit?
To help the growth of your kids’ eye health, limiting their phone usage can greatly benefit them. For kids under 18 months, you should aim to avoid all technology screens. If your child is aged between 2 and 5, you should look to limit their usage to an hour a day. For older kids, there isn’t a recommendation to adhere to, however, staying consistent is key. Keep on top of their usage and ensure their mobile time doesn’t take away from their overall health, such as sleep or exercise.
Eyes on The Future
If you’re worried about your children's vision, see our recommendations to protect their wellbeing and give yourselves added peace of mind for you.
Book more eye tests - your back-to-school checklists consists of the essentials, yet typically never an eye test. Making your youngers vision a priority and save yourself the worry later down the line.
Limit your screen time – if the amount of time your kids spend on their phones’ startles you, try limiting them to a few hours a day. Some children, in schools in America, have even been encouraged to use a locked pouch to control their phone usage.
Keep an eye on your children’s phone behaviour and make sure you communicate clearly between you as a family. Suggesting screen time limits as a team rather than enforcing controlled time will make it easier and help your kids understand.
You can read more about how to avoid the strain on your eyes from technology and why it’s important to keep your eyes healthy here.