We’re now living in what experts call “the digital age,” where technology plays a huge part in our daily lives. You may think that only working adults who spend hours at a computer screen are at risk for screen-related health issues, but a study in 2017 showed that 2 out of 5 children under the age of 8 not only owned their own tablets, but used them more than 2 hours a day.
What’s wrong with screen time in children?
While too much screen time has been linked to everything from behavioral issues to even speech delays, your child’s eyesight may also potentially be at risk. Televisions, computers, tablets, and Smartphones all emit something called blue light. While it can be found in both natural sunlight and artificial sources, blue light has become more of a concern because it has now entered our homes in just about every source of light possible.
Overexposure to blue light can potentially cause:
- Blurred vision
When children watch screens for long periods of time, blue light reaches all the way back to their retinas, which can send a signal to their brain that it’s time to be awake, even if it’s late at night.
How can parents help to protect their children from blue light?
Fortunately, technology is catching on to the uprising issues that are now coming to light with screens, so there are some things that can be done to limit the exposure.
- Use the tablet’s software to darken the screen. Lessening screen brightness at night, as well at taking advantage of Night Shift mode that makes the screen a warmer color can help to reduce exposure
- Put time limits on the screen. There are also some built-in parental guidance features that allow parents to have the tablet become temporarily “blocked” after meeting a certain amount of screen time.
- Cut off screen time three hours before bedtime for children. This will help their bodies to naturally produce melatonin, which makes them ready for bed.
- Invest in a pair of blue light filtering lenses. Even if the child is not showing signs of digital eye strain, blue light filtering glasses like BluTech Lenses can help to reduce the number of symptoms as well as melatonin suppression.