The Vision Council has released data about the number of American adults that suffer from digital eye strain, but what about the children age 18 and younger that are eagerly captivated by today’s growing number of electronic devices?
According to a Nielsen Study, 70% of children under the age of 12 regularly use tablets and iPads.
A study by the Journal of Pediatrics highlights concerning statistics.
- 20% of children 1-year-old or younger use a tablet
- 28% of 2-year-old children can use a mobile device without adult assistance.
- 28% of parents regularly use their mobile phone to help put their children to sleep.
This alarming study shows young children can easily navigate, swipe and tap electronic devices before learning to talk or walk.
Kids model their parents’ behavior so when they see their parents reach for their phone or digital devices on a regular basis, they want to imitate these same behaviors.
Here’s what extended time in front of screens can do to children’s eyes.
- The first side effect is digital eyestrain.
- Children can begin experiencing dry eyes or blurry vision. When staring at a screen, both children and adults’ blink rates decrease significantly.
Blue light is the highest energy wavelength in the visible spectrum. In some people, long-term exposure is believed to cause damage to the retina. Early overexposure to young, developing eyes could lead to an early onset of macular cellular damage, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 50 and also contributes to the earlier formation of cataracts.
Children’s developing eyes allow blue light to penetrate efficiently and directly – targeting the retina. Additionally, since natural blue wavelengths are designed to keep us up during daylight hours. Too much synthetic blue light from electronic devices alters children’s sleeping patterns. Children need regular rest and sleep to help them develop and grow.
What can parents do to help protect their children’s eyes?
Parents can minimize the amount of time their children spend on electronic devices, especially in those crucial hours leading up to bedtime. Additionally, BluTech lenses offers several different styles of glasses that provide blue light blocking lenses to help minimize how much blue light enters the eye. Parents can also install blue light filters on devices to help decrease the color and brightness of electronic devices.