Children spend up to five hours in front of screens, whether mobile or tablet. Long time! What consequences can this have on your health and, above all, on your eyes? Visual fatigue When the eye needs to focus to see closely, the eye muscles contract. It is what is called 'accommodative reflex' and is caused by changes in the shape of the lens. If you have been focusing for a long time, your eyes will get tired, so we wanted to gather some tips to help you avoid visual fatigue from the use of screens.
Do you know what happens when your children are in front of a screen for a long period of time? They blink less, and by blinking less, they cannot keep their eyes hydrated. Here's an important fact: many times they go from blinking 18 times to just 3! This lack of tears causes dry eyes, which in turn triggers the following symptoms:
- Grit sensation
- Blurry vision
- Heaviness in the eyelids
- Swollen eyes
To prevent this dryness in the eyes and, therefore, possible swelling or stinging of the same or intense headaches (not to mention the physical consequences of spending too much time in front of screens, such as sedentary lifestyle and childhood obesity), the Parents must, on the one hand, 'limit' the time they spend in front of these devices and, on the other hand, control how they are used.
- Take breaks in front of the mobile or tablet
Tell your children to do some simple visual relaxation exercises. When they have been exposed to screens for a long time, they should stare at a point that is far from the screen to reduce that fatigue. Tell them to focus on distant objects for a few seconds and to blink actively. Every 20 minutes of being in front of a screen, they must take a 20-second break.
- Keep a minimum distance from the screens
Remind them to keep the screen at least 40 centimeters from their eyes, be in good lighting conditions, and avoid wallpapers that are brightly colored or include flashing, moving images, and flickering.
- Limit the brightness of different mobile devices
An important thing is to regulate the brightness of the screen and that it does not have too much intensity, especially if the ambient light is sufficient. It is also not good that it has little brightness, because in that case the children will have to strain their eyes more than necessary.
- Adopt a correct posture in front of a computer or tablet
It is also important that our children maintain a proper posture in front of the screens and that they do not hunch their back or tilt their head forward. They should sit up straight and keep their head, neck and shoulders in line. From time to time it is okay to move your head slowly to the right and left, up and down to relax the neck muscles and avoid straining.
- Perform a screen detox
Limiting the use of screens to a few hours a day will prevent your children from suffering from eyestrain. To limit this, there are parental control programs that regulate and manage your child's online activity.
- Go to eye examinations
It is important that we do comprehensive eye exams on our children at least once a year at the ophthalmologist, since exposure to screens is increasing eye problems.
- Do not sleep with electronic devices
It is recommended that children do not sleep with mobile devices in their rooms and that they avoid exposure to screens for at least an hour before going to sleep. The blue light from screens can affect your sleep as they stop releasing melatonin. Do you know that there is the term vamping to refer to the phenomenon, increasingly on the rise, of losing hours of sleep by being in front of the mobile at night?
- Establish good eating habits
Drinking plenty of water and eating a balanced and healthy diet are also some of the ways to avoid eye strain. Exercising outside will also keep you away from screens for a while and you can focus on distant objects and relax your eyes.
Put all these tips into practice and you will prevent your children's eyes from suffering and enjoy excellent visual health. And it is that the health of the child's eyes is very important because, as the Pediatric Ophthalmology study for every day says, carried out by José Manuel Díez del Corral Belda, ophthalmologist, and Cristina Álvarez Alonso, family doctor, can influence their school and social performance, causing self-esteem problems.
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