So, you’re raising a reader! And the good news is that your child loves to read. The not-so-good news? With the rise of the digital age, a large portion of our reading is now done on digital eBook devices. Laptops, iPads, smartphones, and other tablets all conspire to give us digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome. Is there anything a parent, educator, or caregiver can do to protect children’s eyes? You betcha! Read on for 5 tips from the experts.
- Evaluate their vision.
Have you noticed your child squinting at text? Does he or she seem to hold the books closer to his or her face than necessary? Does he or she complain of tired eyes? Even if these symptoms are not present, when was the last time your child went for an eye checkup? The American Optometric Association recommends that children between the ages of 6 to 18 go for annual eye checkups. Getting glasses to prevent eyestrain is a smart move that could encourage hesitant readers. In fact, eyestrain or poor vision could be what has been holding your child back from fully entering the wonderful world of reading.
- Balance plays a role.
Too many hours spent with eyes glued to a screen is not good for the eyes. Eye muscles get fatigued, just as other muscles do in our body. Other symptoms of overuse? When your child complains of dry, irritated, or sensitive eyes. Wearing a pair of computer glasses like those offered by Felix Gray will combat these symptoms by filtering blue light and eliminating glare from screens, the two main culprits of digital eye strain.
But there are also other secondary effects to eye strain that contribute to poor health habits. In a report published by CNN, it was found that the average American spends 10 hours in front of a screen. The statistics for children might be different, as where an adult likely uses a laptop for work, a child will be in a classroom. So, while the hours in front of a screen might be less for a child, compared to an adult’s, those hours mean less time a child could be outside, playing. Being active when young is an important habit for kids to establish that will help them avoid becoming overweight later in life.