Is Too Much Screen Time Bad for Kids?
You check in to say good night to your son only to find he is playing on his mobile phone in bed. Or your daughter is busy texting when she is supposed to be studying. Children and their phones are inseparable today, and all that reading and playing games on their handheld devices may be harming their vision.
To reduce screen time, some parents ban phones at the dinner table. This applies to both adults and children. And in some homes, playing games or texting must stop two hours before bedtime. To put a hard stop on screen time, some moms and dads set time limits on their children’s daily device use.
Definition of “screen time”
“Screen time” refers to the amount of time a person spends staring at the digital displays of computers, tablets (iPads, for example) and smartphones.
Recent surveys show that children routinely engage in more than two hours of screen time per day. And it’s very likely most kids actually spend significantly more time staring at screens than their parents think they do. As kids grow, their screen time tends to grow with them. And even very young children these days are spending a significant amount of time each day staring at screens.
Why might too much screen time be a problem for kids?
30 percent of parents report their children experience at least one of the following symptoms after being exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day:
- Neck/shoulder pain
- Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
- Reduced attention span
- Poor behavior
Any of these symptoms could potentially affect academic performance and social interactions. The rapid rise of myopia, or nearsightedness, worldwide has been linked to increased use of and exposure to electronic devices. In Singapore, for example, 65 percent of students in Primary 6 are myopic. In the United States and Europe, where myopia rates traditionally have been lower, around half of young adults now suffer from myopia compared with 25 percent in the 1970s.
Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.
For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:
Specs Direct | Professional Affordable Eyewear
20 McIntyre Street, Parow, Cape Town 7500
Tel: 021 939 1020
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