Five Expert Tips to Manage Child's Digital Device Time

September 24, 2020
Eye Health
Mother and daughter reading from computer screen

SKIP THE PARENT GUILT!

BY DR. TINA DOUROUDIAN, DOCTOR OF OPTOMETRY AT MYEYEDR.

Did you know that 80% of all learning occurs visually? With classrooms (and kitchen tables) turning to virtual learning, this school year is looking quite a bit different. You can ensure your child has the advantage with good vision. Here’s some expert eye care advice from MyEyeDr. to help better manage the additional screen time and lower the risk of digital eye strain in your child.

2020
  1. Make sure your child actually wears their glasses if corrective eyewear is recommended. Even mild prescriptions can have a major impact on learning and development. If glasses are prescribed for your child, ask questions about how often they should be worn. It can be challenging to get your child accustomed to wearing eyewear but wearing glasses can make a huge difference with their academic success. Let your child pick out a pair that they like! Incorporate a playful reminder like  “kids in glasses do well in classes” as motivation for daily wear.
  2. Taking breaks from digital devices is essential. Follow the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, looking 20 feet away that is not a screen or digital device. Once or twice an hour make sure they’re getting up to let the wiggles out! When they aren’t doing classwork try to minimize their screen time; make it fun! Let’s get your child outdoors for a quick game of ‘eye spy’ to shake up extended learning sessions!
  3. Remind your child to maintain a proper distance from their screens. We have all seen kiddos who seem to want to leap into their screens headfirst! Remind them to pull back to arm’s distance. Remember: “Arm’s length equals eye strength.”
  4. Spending time outdoors is critical to your child’s balanced day. It’s been shown to have a major impact on overall vision and well-being. Try to aim for 30 minutes a day, weather-permitting. Don’t forget their sunnies & SPF!
  5. Make sure your child maintains an annual eye exam. Yes, even if the pediatrician did a screening. Yes, even if they aren’t complaining. Children can pass screening exams with flying colors and still have vision issues that can affect learning and development. Many children will never complain about blurred or strained vision because they don’t know what to compare it to. It’s best to have an eye care professional examine their overall eye health.

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