Today, there are less kids playing outside and spending more time indoors using their tablet, smartphone, playing video games or watching their favorite television show. More advanced technology has called for creative ways to keep children entertained on these devices. However, what most parents may not be aware of, is that spending too much time in front of a digital screen can cause the child to experience Computer Vision Syndrome amongst other health effects.
What is Computer Vision Syndrome?
Computer Vision Syndrome is also known as Digital Eye Strain, and describes a group of symptoms associated with eye and vision problems associated when staring at a digital screen for extended periods. This includes:
- Eye strain
- Dry eyes
- blurry vision
- Inability to focus
- Headaches/ migraines
- Disruption in sleep pattern
The culprit? Is none other than the blue light that emits from these digital devices.
So what is blue light in digital screens?
Blue light is a short wavelength of visible blue light is high-energy and remains high all the time. Blue light also known as high-energy visible blue light (HEV) has high frequency and short wavelengths similar to UV light.
Types of blue light include: smartphones, computer, television and tablet screens, and LED lamps.
How does Blue Light Affect A Child’s Development?
As a child continues to grow and develop, it is important to play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy transition for them. Decreasing the amount of screen time for them is one of them.
A study from the American Heart Association shares that children and teenagers ages 8 -18 spend an average of more than seven hours a day staring at a digital screen. The American Heart Association recommends parents to limit screen time for children to a maximum of two hours a day, this includes smartphone and tablet time combined.
When a child is exposed to blue light for long periods of time, they are susceptible to experience eye strain, dry eyes and blurred vision. It will also impair sleep pattern and will have a hard time going to bed at night since the body is not able to produce sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin.
Other symptoms include the inability to focus during the day and process information superficially instead of critically thinking.
Blue Light Blocking Eyewear Protection
Sometimes it is inevitable that a child will spend numerous hours staring at a screen whether at home or at school. To help block blue light exposure, eyewear blue light blocking glasses are a good fit and can be worn all day for best protection.