How to Protect Your Kids’ Eyesight From Too Much Screen Time

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Kids have access to all kinds of gadgets these days. While devices like computers, tablets, and mobile phones have given them access to different learning and entertaining resources, these also result in more screen time. That’s especially true at home, where they have leisure time and access to various gadgets. In the long run, this can lead to eye health issues like eye fatigue, dry eyes, and blurry vision – conditions that may develop into more severe problems, like frequent headaches and tiredness.

Fortunately, most of these issues can be prevented. Here’s how to protect your kids’ eyesight from too much screen time.

Provide them with blue light eyewear

The screens on digital devices emit something known as blue light. This can damage the retina, leading to poor eyesight and even vision loss over time.

Protect your kids by having them wear blue light glasses to shield their eyes. When purchasing from Glasses Direct you can choose between BlueReflect – durable and scratch-resistant, perfect for clumsy kids – and KODAK UVBlue, which provides a greater contrast for improved colour recognition and depth perception. Kids should wear these whenever they’re in front of a screen, including the telly. You can also consider blue light contact lenses. Brands like Acuvue offer these equipped with blue light filters, perfect for pre-teens and adolescents who prefer contacts or are not adept at caring for glasses.

Encourage your kids to take breaks

Continuous exposure to screens can further worsen their eyesight. This is why it’s essential to encourage your kids to take breaks.

Although it seems impossible, you can unplug your kids from their gadgets with a few choice strategies. You can start by talking to your kids about when they can use their devices. For instance, explain how they may only get 3 hours after school since they still need to do homework or do extracurricular activities. You may also treat screen time as a reward for doing chores or pursuing hobbies like learning a new instrument or language. That way, they’ll realise gadget use is a privilege they have to work for – and they won’t spend all their free time in front of screens.

Include healthy food for the eyes in their diet

Some foods are rich in vitamins and minerals that improve eye health. Kale protects eyesight by preventing dry eye syndrome caused by decreased blinking when using gadgets. That’s because it’s rich in Vitamin A, which prevents fluids in the eye from evaporating. Spinach and chard are also great options you can easily incorporate into a salad or smoothie – or even make into chips! – for your kids.

Spices like paprika and turmeric are also beneficial for eye health. Paprika is rich in lutein, which improves eye function, while turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory for eye health. You can use these to season food like chicken or soup.

Prevent gadget use before bedtime

Kids may be tempted to use their gadgets before bedtime to maximise their screen time.

However, doing so can disrupt their sleep cycles. Blue light can also suppress melatonin – the hormone responsible for promoting sleep – and prevent their eyes from recovering overnight, increasing eye strain and dryness. Instead of using gadgets, tell your kids bedtime stories, have them solve a puzzle, or play a board game. With these, they’ll stay entertained before going to sleep – even without screens.

Kids’ extensive use of gadgets increases their screen time and risk of eye problems. Protect your kids’ eyesight to prevent issues like blurred vision and promote better eye health in your household.