09/28/2020

Kids & Screen Time

Amanda Schafer


Children are starting to spend more and more time looking at screens. Between video games, television shows, online classes, and mobile apps, it can be hard for kids to stay away. However, the amount of screen time they’re exposed to and the blue light screens emit can have negative effects. 

What is Blue Light?

Blue light rays are the shortest ultraviolet (UV) rays with the highest energy. Whenever your kid is engaging with a screen, they are being exposed to blue light. Sources of blue light include:

  • Computers
  • T.V. screens
  • Natural sunlight
  • Lights: LED, Fluorescent
  • Handheld Devices: Smartphones, tablets

Symptoms of Too Much Screen Time for Kids

In moderation, blue light can be beneficial. However, many children experience too much exposure which can be harmful. Symptoms of blue light exposure include: 

  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Changes in vision

How Much Screen Time is Too Much?

Screen time should be limited to reduce the possibility of these symptoms. According to The  American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children under 2 years of age should have no screen time and children 2 to 5 years of age should have no more than one hour of screen time per day. By the time they’re teens, studies have found that kids spend around 7 hours a day on digital devices. It is important to try to limit that amount of time and implement strategies to reduce their screen exposure.

What Parents Can Do

Based on their findings, the AAP suggests steps for parents to take to help their child avoid the symptoms of screen exposure.  

  • Initiate Breaks: Children should be reminded to frequently take breaks while using technology and follow the 20/20/20 rule. This entails looking away from the screen every 20 minutes and focusing on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 
  • Limit Digital Use Before Bedtime: It is recommended for children to avoid screen exposure at least one hour before going to bed. The blue light from screens can make it more difficult for kids to fall asleep and will interfere with their sleep schedule.
  • Schedule Regular Vision Screenings: Slight changes in your children’s vision can go unnoticed. It is important for them to get regular vision screenings and see their eye care specialist for annual eye exams

Benefits of Blue Light Glasses for Kids

Blue light glasses can reduce exposure to blue light rays by 80% or more. Benefits of blue light glasses for kids include: 

  • Being more alert
  • Regulating sleep schedule 
  • Reducing digital eye fatigue

Feel more comfortable with the amount of screen time your kid is using by having them wear blue light glasses. DiscountGlasses.com has prescription blue light lenses that can be added to any pair of kids’ eyeglasses. Your child and your wallet will thank you!

SHOP KID’S EYEGLASSES >

Amanda Schafer

A graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Amanda works hard at balancing her passion for writing and marketing. She is a Pittsburgh native that just recently moved to Columbus and enjoys doing just about anything outdoors from going on hikes to taking her dog for walks around the city.

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