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Can Too Much Screen Time Impact Children’s Health and Vision?

Can Too Much Screen Time Impact Children’s Health and Vision?

Is There a Danger to Children's Health and Vision If They Spend Too Much Time in Front of Screens?

The number of different electronic gadgets and forms of digital media that are accessible on the market today is without precedent. Nevertheless, there should be some cause for alarm. Even if the use of these devices has made our lives easier in a variety of ways, there are certain problems that can arise from excessive exposure to them, both in terms of our mental and physical health.
 

Nowadays, children are rarely seen without their phones in their hands. All of these activities, whether they involve playing games, watching movies, or reading on their portable devices, could be causing damage to their vision and could be a risk factor in the development and advancement of nearsightedness. In addition, children limit the amount of time they spend engaging in physical activity since they spend so much time on their digital gadgets. This can lead to a variety of developmental issues that could harm the child later in life.

Our children will be the ones who are most touched by the changes in the way we live that are brought about by technological advancements. Parents and health care professionals are concerned about the effects that these gadgets are now having on our children, and they want to identify the most effective strategies to limit the amount of time that children spend using these devices so that they can maintain their physical and mental health.

What are the Dangers to One's Health Associated with Watching Too Much Television?

If youngsters use their electronic gadgets for more than two hours every day, they run the risk of developing health problems such as headaches, eye strain, a shorter attention span, impatience, and poor behavior. These symptoms could have an effect on the child's life in every way, including their academic performance and their relationships with their peers. In addition, spending an excessive amount of time in front of digital gadgets can negatively impact their physical health, leading to concerns such as bad posture, visual problems, and other complications.
 

A Youngster Using a Computer
There is a correlation between the amount of time spent staring at screens and the increased risk of acquiring vision-related issues. For instance, the prevalence of dry eye syndrome is growing, which can be traced back to the decreased amount of blinking that occurs when staring at a screen. Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is a condition that is alarmingly on the rise, and researchers believe that it may be related to the rising use of electronic gadgets in the lives of children.
 

The Relationship Between Time Spent in Front of a Screen and Myopia

In the past several decades, there has been a marked increase in the prevalence of myopia, which is a trend that coincides with the rise in the use of computers and other digital devices by children. A startling ninety percent of students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools in Singapore are myopic at this point in time. A comparable sharp rise in the prevalence of myopia has also been reported in North America and Europe.

Syndrome of the Computer Vision

The phrase "Computer Vision Syndrome" refers to the adverse effects that extended usage of electronic gadgets can have on our eyes and our ability to see well. This condition can be caused by staring at a screen for too long. Children are particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of eye strain because they are still developing the ability to adjust their vision from close up to far away, as well as the ability to properly integrate their vision and motor abilities. Because of the potentially detrimental impacts of these gadgets, activities such as handwriting, sports, cutting, and any other activity that requires the coordination of vision and motor skills may become more difficult to do. The academic achievement of youngsters might also be negatively impacted by this illness.

How the Dangerous Effects of Blue Light Affect Vision

LED screens, which are used for computers and other digital devices, emit a broad spectrum of light, a small component of which is a high-energy visible light called "blue light." LED screens also emit a small amount of red light. Studies have revealed that exposure to particular wavelengths of blue light for extended periods of time may cause damage to the light-sensitive retina in the eye.
 

How parents can reduce the risk that blue light poses to their children

When a person is young, the lens of their eye has an extraordinarily clear appearance. Because of this, the retina can absorb the maximum quantity of blue light. As a result, it is of the utmost importance for parents to exercise caution and restrict the amount of time their children spend using electronic gadgets.

There are, however, ways to shield your child's eyes from the harmful effects of blue light if they do use electronic gadgets.

The amount of blue light that enters the eyes from electronic devices such as computers, e-tablets, and smartphone screens can be reduced by wearing glasses with lenses that filter out the light.
Get anti-reflective coating applied to the lenses of your eyeglasses, as this reduces exposure to blue light.
Invest in a pair of eyewear with photochromic lenses. These are sun-sensitive lenses that block some blue light inside while also blocking extra blue light when exposed to sunlight.
If you want to shield your eyes from the potentially damaging rays of blue light that the sun emits, you should wear polaroid sunglasses.
Talk to the knowledgeable and helpful staff at Rye Eye Care's Myopia Control Center in order to find out all of the various methods in which you may filter out blue light in order to protect your children's eyes from potential harm and maintain their vision healthy.

An excess of time spent in front of digital screens is disruptive to sleep.
The use of electronic gadgets in the hour or so before up to bedtime not only makes falling asleep more challenging, but also causes sleep to be disrupted throughout the night and lowers the overall quality of one's slumber. The blue light given off by these devices confuses the brain into thinking that it is daytime, which is why this effect occurs.

Our circadian rhythm, also known as our sleep-wake cycle, is severely impacted when blue light, which plays a significant role in the process, is disturbed. This can have negative effects on our health. Even a reduction of half an hour in a child's total sleep time might have a detrimental effect on how they behave the following day. This situation is especially problematic for young children, who need more sleep than adults do. A lack of sleep can lead to daytime sleepiness, poor academic performance, weight increase, and health complications associated to obesity. In addition, not getting enough sleep has been linked to a variety of mental health issues, including mood disorders, increased levels of depression, and feelings of isolation.

Problems with children's mental health and the use of digital devices
Parents have reported that their children's level of irritability increases in direct proportion to the amount of time their children spend in front of screens. Without even realizing it, children can become overstimulated by too much time spent in front of a computer, which can lead to an increase in anxious feelings, a rise in levels of irritation, and poor behavior. These symptoms could have an effect on the child's life in every way, including their academic performance and their relationships with their peers.

Problems with one's health can arise from inactivity brought on by excessive usage of digital devices.
The percentage of inactive children is always rising. The majority of the time spent in front of a screen is spent sitting, and the more time youngsters spend sitting, the less physical activity they get overall. This can lead to many other kinds of physical problems, including weight gain, poor muscular growth, and others. A lack of physical exercise has been shown to have a negative impact on brain development, which is essential for a wide variety of daily functions, including physical coordination and communication.

Guidelines for Reducing the Amount of Time Young Children Spend in Front of Screens child with her mother

Children should be encouraged to participate in various activities that are beneficial to their health and development, and they should also be taught to form healthy habits about their consumption of media that will help them maintain their visual, mental, and physical health.

Avoid exposing infants under 18 to 24 months of age to any form of digital media.
If you want to introduce digital media to your child who is 18 to 24 months old, find content that is of a high quality and make it a point to utilize the media with your child. It is not recommended that someone this age utilize media by themselves.
When youngsters are 2 to 5 years old, they should only be allowed to watch one hour a day of high-quality content on a screen.
The 20-20-20 rule states that parents should make sure their children take a break every 20 minutes for 20 seconds and look at something that is 20 feet away.
Stay away from programs with a lot of action and anything aggressive.
Make sure that all screens, including the television, as well as any other gadgets, are turned off when they are not in use.
Avoid using different forms of media as the primary way for putting your child at ease. Even though there are situations in which media can be a helpful method for soothing, using it on a consistent basis can lead to difficulties in establishing limits and can make it more difficult for a child to regulate their emotions.
Make it a rule that your kid isn't allowed to use any digital devices in the hour leading up to bedtime.
The present and the future both belong to technology. Your child's ability to maintain clear vision and a healthy body for many years into the future will greatly improve if you take the precautions and follow the advice shown in this article.

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