Gadgets attract children and they normally get hooked to the gadgets at an early age itself. But the digitally conscious parents try to restrict the usage of gadgets by their children by imposing the time limits and restrictions. The reason for this is that the parents doesn’t want the digital eye strain to be part of the growing up years of their children.
But, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the children are bound to the house, with no option of going out and playing. As socializing is an integral part of their growing up years, most of the parents have started using video calls as the means of socializing during this lockdown period. Now, most of the schools have gone into the virtual mode which means more gadget time for the children. This would definitely put in more digital eye strain on the tender eyes of the children.
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What is Digital Eye Strain?
Prolonged exposure to screens/gadgets puts stress on the eyes. The symptoms of this stress result in dry eyes, itchiness or burning sensation, tiredness of the eyes. These are called the short term effects, which are in fact, not cumulative. But as most of us know that the excessive usage of the screens would lead to, loss of focus, blurred vision, fatigue, no concentration on studies, and a host of other problems. So here comes the tips, we follow at our house to avoid the digital eye strain in our entire family.
Tips to avoid the Digital Eye Strain
The following are the tips, we follow in our home to preserve our kid’s eye health. So thought of sharing those tips here.
- Screens: Adjust the brightness of the screens. Let the children use the screens in well-lit rooms and also adjust the screen’s brightness levels and also switch on the “night mode” in the gadgets. If possible, add the blue light filter to your screens.
- Increase the text size on the screens for the elder kids, who have to read and type, so that the children need not have to squint their eyes to read/type.
- Blinking: Remind the children about the importance of “Blinking”. Typically, the children keep forgetting about blinking, while watching the screens. So as a parent, let’s use these gadgets to our advantage, by installing the screen savers or by setting up the alarms, which would remind the children about the “Blinking”
- Correct Posture: Correct posture reduces the strain on the body of the child. Improper posture would lead to neck and shoulder pains or even the lower back pains.
- Ensure that the screens are placed at a minimum of 30 cm away at the eye level.
- Golden Rule: Teach the child about the golden rule of 20:20:20. For every 20 minutes of watching any screen, the child has to take a 20-second break to look at any object that’s around 20 feet from him. Preferably at the eye relaxing colors like green, blue, or yellow.
- Food for eyes: Ensure that the child is eating all the foods that are rich in Vitamin A. Leafy vegetables, carrots, broccoli, etc are loaded with Vitamin A, which is known to improve one’s eyesight. So add these into your child’s diet regularly. Also, ensure that the child stays hydrated most of the time and keeps sipping water regularly during their online sessions
- Also, as a family, start a healthy routine of keeping away the gadgets during meal times. This would lead to healthy eating habits in the kids
- Eye Exercise: Simple eye exercises need to be included in their daily physical exercise routine of the children. Meditation also helps in reducing the digital eye strain.
- Look at the object near you, concentrate on it for 10 seconds, then gradually shift the vision to the farthest object in the room. Then slowly shift the vision sideways and backways to look at the objects to the sideways and at the back.
- Roll the eyes in the circular and anticircular pattern, to avoid the dry eye syndrome.
- Gadget Sleep: Let the gadgets also sleep. So turn off all the gadgets at least 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to bed, as the blue light emitting from the gadgets is known to disturb the sleep patterns.
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So apart from the above tips, what should a parent do regarding your child’s eye health? We all know that gadgets are the monsters that try to spoil both the physical and mental health of the kids. So, we need to have strict regulations about the usage of gadgets as a family on the whole. Also, please incorporate the eye checkups in your regular health checkup routine.