Dear parents, please think twice before handing your Smartphone or tablet or any digital device to your little one just to keep her/him quiet. According to a recent research done by eye experts in the City of Davao, Philippines it has been revealed that kids at the age of five and below are being affected with severe irreversible eye damages because of us, the parents introducing these gadgets at early years of their growth.
In a recent press conference, the licensed optometrist of George Optical Inc. DR. Nanette Casino reported that the digital era is causing more defects to the eyes of our children at a very young age of 2 and 3; which is of course unpleasant news. Casino said to the reporters that, in olden times, people who were 40 and above were the ones who were usually affected with eye problems, but in recent times even the toddlers are being added to the list and are forced to wear glasses at the younger age.
In olden days, genetic predisposition was considered to be the cause of eye defects like short sight in children, but nowadays excessive exposure to the mobile phones, tablets, etc. are also regarded as a risk.
What is digital eye strain?
Digital eye strain is caused due to the continuous exposure of the eyes to computer, television and similar devices. Looking at the screens of these gadgets for extended periods, say for two or more hours, can tire out the eyes of the kids, leading to dryness and irritation of the eyes, headache, shoulder and neck pain and so on. When parents expose their young ones to the digital world, they are in fact exposing them to danger. Even adults suffer from physical discomfort after being exposed to the digital gadget screens for more than 2 hours.
Symptoms caused by digital eye defects
- Itchy and dry eyes
- Severe head pain
- Increase in the sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
Though these symptoms are temporary, too much exposure to digital screens might lead to irreversible visual defects.
How to protect your child’s eye?
- Regulate the time spent by your kids watching Smartphones and similar gadgets (maximum one hour).
- Wean off your kids from the habit of using these devices regularly. You need to put your gadgets aside first and get involved with the kids, only then you can guide the kids out of their gadget addiction. You can give them exciting books to read or some activity books to solve various puzzles.
- Stop giving phones and other devices at night. You can read them bedtime stories or encourage them to talk about how their day went, what happened at school etc.
- Avoid exposing children under 5 to any type of devices like Smartphone or tablets or even televisions screens.
- Make sure that the children have ample time to sleep and give rest to their tired eyes.
- If the child is already using spectacles, encourage him/her to wear it while using the smartphone, tablets, etc.