How to Give Your Child's Eyes a Screen-Time Break
Today’s children spend more time staring at digital screens than ever before. Many babies begin zooming in on their parent’s smartphones and tablets as young as six months old. From then on, children are constantly exposed to computers, TVs, tablets, smartphones, and other devices. All this screen time can seriously affect a child's well-being, especially their eyes.
If you’re concerned about the various unpleasant issues your child may experience after staring at digital screens for hours on end, use the following tips to get them to take some much-needed screen-time breaks.
Why Screen-Time Breaks Are Important
Look out for the following symptoms in your child after prolonged screen exposure.
When children concentrate on a screen for extended periods, they can experience headaches centered around the eyes and temples and difficulty concentrating. They can also experience eye fatigue caused by squinting. This can lead to them becoming less physically active, which will in turn cause other issues.
When the gaze stays fixed at the same distance for extended periods, it can cause an accommodation spasm, which causes a child's vision to blur when they look away from the screen. This, of course can lead to all sorts of difficulties, such as with reading.
Children blink significantly less often when focusing on a digital screen, leaving the eyes feeling dry and irritated.
How to Help Kids Take Screen-Time Breaks
If you’re concerned about the amount of time your little one spends staring at screens, follow the tips below to give them some screen-time breaks.
Monitor Screen Time
Parents are encouraged to develop a schedule for screen time at home to keep track of how much time children are spending in front of screens. Try to limit screen time as much as possible. It would perhaps be a good idea to plan the schedule with the children, as this would help them gain a sense of responsibility, and let them feel as though the decisions was partly theirs.
Blue light emitted from electronic devices can disturb the circadian rhythm that regulates sleep, making it difficult for children to get some restful shuteye. Don’t let children sleep with electronic devices in their bedrooms. They should also avoid screen exposure for at least an hour before bed.
Make sure your children are getting at least an hour of physical activity every day. Get your child to put down their devices or step away from the TV or computer regularly to get outside and move. Not only will this take them away from their screens, but it is also likely to help tire them out, so they can sleep better at night.
Take Breaks Often
It’s common for children to get so absorbed in what they’re doing that they’ll never notice symptoms of eye strain. That’s why parents need to remind them to take breaks often by looking away from the screen at least once every 20 minutes. Children should also put the screen away and take a walk for at least 10 minutes per hour.
Keep the Screens Low
If your child uses a laptop or desktop computer, ensure the screen is positioned slightly below eye level. When a child looks up at a screen, it causes them to open their eyes wider, which dries them out quickly.
What Else Can I Do to Minimize the Effects of Screen Time?
Screen Time is pretty much inevitable. On top of the strategies above, we recommend using blue light blocking, Screen Time Glasses from Roshambo Eyewear when you do have screen time. Roshambo Eyewear offers a huge selection of Screen Time frame colors in two styles and 5 sizes for the whole family. All frames are our signature Italian made bend-in-half-flexible, rubberized frames. They are virtually indestructible, ultra light to help kiddo keep them on, and block up to 80% of harmful blue light. All of that and more affordable than nearly any other brands on the market! Check out our full line of Screen Time Glasses to find the perfect color and style for you. Want to see the effect Roshambo’s Screen Time Glasses can have blocking blue light? Check out our demonstration video here.
Finally, if you have a little Blippi fan in your house - surprise them with our exclusive line of Blippi Screen Time Glasses! Your little one will look just like Blippi and get the benefit of healthier eyes, less crankiness and even better sleep!