It isn’t that digital screens weren’t there before the pandemic. However, with the quarantine and lockdown, everything has shifted online.
From classes, office work to getting in touch with our loved ones, everything is being done through digital media. Moreover, people also have more time in their hands than ever. Kids are using this time on their hobbies which generally includes playing video games and watching their favourite cartoon.
All of this screen time is putting a lot of strain on your child’s eyes. If your child has been complaining about headaches and eye irritation as of late, it might be due to digital eye strain. These discomforts from excessive screen time can keep your child from learning their online lessons and disrupt their sleep. Kids with glasses should be more mindful of digital consumption.
If you are worried about your child’s vision, you are at the right place. This blog contains some simple measures to protect your kids from the harmful effects of digital screens. But first, let us know about digital eye strain a little better.
What is digital eye strain?
What is often referred to as ‘computer vision syndrome’, digital eye strain is the group of discomforts we feel after spending long hours on digital screens. The blue light emitting from these devices can harm your child’s eyes and affects their sleep pattern.
Also, the glare on these screens can make it difficult to see the screen clearly. As a result, our eyes focus harder and the eye muscles feel drained.
Here are some symptoms of computer vision syndrome -
● Itching in the eyes
● Sore eyes
● Dry or watery eyes
● Blurred vision
● Double vision
● Shoulder, neck or back pain
● Developing sensitivity to light
● Trouble focusing the eyes
If you notice these symptoms in your child or if they notify you of these discomforts, don’t let them go neglected. Although eye strain does not have any long-term repercussions, its symptoms are highly unpleasant. It can make their eyes feel tired and reduce their concentration power.
In case your kid wears eyeglasses and is exposed to too much screen time, get their eyes checked once every year. In case you are buying prescription glasses online at cheap rates for your child, make sure it has anti-blue light and anti-glare coatings on its lenses.
Screen time and sleep
Blue light is also known to disrupt the sleep/wake cycle especially if your child is using digital devices before going to bed. The exposure to blue light at night blocks the production of melatonin hormone that signals your body to go to sleep. Also, the artificial blue light from the screen makes the brain think that it is daylight. This is why your child often has those sleepless nights or irregular sleep patterns.
What to do?
If you are also worried about your kid’s screen time, here are some possible actions you can encourage them to take.
Take regular breaks from screen
Ask your child to follow the 20/20/20 rule. If your child is actively using the screen for about 20 minutes, have your kid look away at something that is 20 feet away from them for 20 seconds. Repeat this activity every 20 minutes.
When we are looking at a screen, we blink less which causes our eyes to feel dry. Make sure your child blinks often when they are looking at their smartphone or laptop. This will relubricate their eyes and reduce the damage done by blue light.
Change the reading material
If your kid has the habit of reading e-books, get them some physical copies so they can switch between these two options. This will reduce their screen time and the discomforts associated with it.
Wear protective glasses
You can get blue light glasses for your kids to give them extra protection during screen time. If you are looking for good-quality blue light blocking glasses in the UK, go online and save some money. This will improve their efficiency during online classes and they will be able to study without any eye discomforts.
Don’t let your child sit too close to the screen. Make sure they are at least 2 feet away from the device and the screen is placed a few inches below the eye level. Also, get your child in the habit of using digital devices on their study desk or table. If they are slouching to look at the screen, it will put pressure on their neck, shoulder and back.
Blue light is vicious to your kid’s eyes. Make sure their vision is secured even in the lockdown. Take these measures and encourage your child to indulge in healthy screen habits. If your child is bespectacled, make sure they have blue light coating on their lenses. If they don’t, you can buy an additional pair. It is easy to get low cost glasses in the UK if you search at online stores.