Just half of parents recognize screen time impact on children's eye health

Published On 2022-07-19 05:15 GMT   |   Update On 2022-07-19 05:15 GMT

The nationally-representative report was based on responses from 2,002 parents of children ages 3-18 surveyed in April. Some experts have pointed to the combination of increased screen time and less time outdoors as factors that may put children at higher risk for developing myopia, or nearsightedness, which can lead to serious eye problems in the future. The rate of nearsightedness...

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The nationally-representative report was based on responses from 2,002 parents of children ages 3-18 surveyed in April. Some experts have pointed to the combination of increased screen time and less time outdoors as factors that may put children at higher risk for developing myopia, or nearsightedness, which can lead to serious eye problems in the future. The rate of nearsightedness in children has increased dramatically in the past 30 years.

Research is ongoing but studies suggest outdoor time protects against myopia. Parents should encourage at least one to two hours of outdoor time per day because exposure to natural light benefits eye development, said researchers.

Parents should enforce family rules to ensure children have a sustained period of non-screen time during the day. This is especially important during summer months when they're off from school and may have less structured downtime. Some research has also indicated associations between working up close like reading or using a tablet increasing the odds of myopia.

Many parents polled also skip steps that help minimize eye injuries during activities that include a risk of objects hitting the child's eye at high speed or force, with less than a third of parents saying their child wears protective glasses or goggles during contact sports.

However, most parents polled say children and teens wear protective glasses or goggles when doing activities that pose a risk of eye injuries, including working with tools and playing shooting games like Nerf guns or paintball.

After time spent on screens, the most common factors parent identify as impacting children's vision and eye health are reading in poor light, how close children sit to the TV/screen, diet and blue light from screens.

It's important time to think about myopia risks for children because kids with this condition often become more nearsighted over time .The age of myopia onset is the most significant predictor of severe myopia later in life ended the authors.

Reference: "Just half of parents recognize screen time impact on children's eye health"; MICHIGAN MEDICINE - UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN.

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