Why Limiting Screen Times Is Important to Your Child’s Eye Health And 5 Easy Ways to Do It
One of the most dreadful things a modern parent can hear is their child borrowing their mobile phone, computer, or video game console to play some games. Most conversations end up with an unwilling “yes” or a reprimanding “no” with unending tantrums from the child.
But limiting your child’s screen time is paramount.
As most parents in this research proclaimed, parenting has become increasingly difficult in the age of screens and technology. But there are clever techniques you can employ to have your child spend less time on the screen.
How Screen Time Affects Your Child’s Eye Health
The American Academy of Pediatrics (APA) has defined the recommended screen times for children in different age groups.
Children aged 18 months and younger should not be receiving any screen time at best. Only the occasional live chat with family and friends is deemed acceptable.
Screen time should be limited from 18 months to 2 years with no solo use. Parents are advised to watch with their kids to ensure understanding.
From 2 to 5 years, APA recommends only one hour of screen time with parental watch. For a child six years and older, the limited screen time depends on the media. However, their sleep, behavior, and exercise should not be affected.
Prolonged screen time leads to short-term eye health problems such as dry eyes, headaches, and computer vision syndrome.
How You Can Look After Your Child’s Vision and Eye Health
There are two main ways to look after your child’s vision and eye health. These are limiting screen time and encouraging physical activity.
Limiting screen time reduces their exposure to blue light and other factors that cause short-term complications. Physical activity, including a healthy diet, helps their metabolism and social life by encouraging them to make more friends by playing outside.
Ways to Limit Your Kid’s Screen Time
Limiting screen time for your child is a complicated affair. But these five ways make it easier.
Create Phone-Free Zones in The House
Restrict where your children can use their phones or tablets within the house. For instance, you can have the dining table and kitchen as phone-free zones to encourage kids to spend more time bonding with the family instead of burying their heads into their screens.
Engage Your Kids More Often
Instead of leaving your kids with the nanny after work or school, purposefully spend more face-to-face time with them. Giving them your full attention will discourage them from spending more time with their digital devices.
Encourage Outdoor Activities
Use this as your rationale for encouraging physical activity. Taking your kids out for a walk or playing with them outside increases their endorphins and feelings of happiness, which boosts their mood and physical health.
Put Hand-Held Devices Away During No Screen Time
During screen-free hours, keep all hand-held devices in a common room or charging station that your kids cannot access. Moreover, if they’re visually separated from them, they’ll start focusing more on other activities than their locked-up devices.
Be Realistic with Your Goals
Diving straight into a strict screen-free regime can lead to further problems and rebellion from your kids. Be realistic and start with small attainable goals. Start by cutting the current screen time in half as you slowly ramp up to only an hour or two of screen time a day.
Get Appropriate Eye Wear to Reduce Eye Health Risks
Exposure to blue light is linked to most eye health problems related to screens and screen time. As much as you can enforce a strict screen-time regime with your kids, ensure they also have the proper eyewear to prevent possible complications.
That eyewear is screen time glasses, which block harmful blue light rays and protect eyes from these harmful rays. These are available for as young as toddlers up through adult.