Kids and computers are almost inseparable nowadays. With lots of school-age kids as well as preschoolers spending hours in front of a computer every day, it’s worth considering what effects computers might have on your children’s eyes and their vision.
- Is computer use bad for a child’s eyes?
- Does it help or hurt school performance?
- Should kids wear computer glasses at school?
These and other questions about kids, computers and computer vision prevail. This short article will help you discover more about these prompt subjects.
Kids, Computer and School
Here’s good news: Recent research suggests computer use among preschool children may actually improve their preparedness for school and scholastic achievement.
In one research study of 122 young children registered in a rural Head Start program \*, children in the experimental group were offered the chance to deal with a computer for 15-20 minutes per day with their option of developmentally appropriate educational software application, while the kids in the control (non-computer) group received a standard Head Start curriculum.
All children in the research study took four standardized tests at the start of the research study and 6 months later to evaluate their school readiness, visual motor abilities, gross motor abilities and cognitive advancement.
The children who worked on a computer carried out much better on measures of school readiness and cognitive advancement than the children without computers. Also, kids who did computer work both at home and at school carried out much better than kids who operated at a computer only at school.
Computer Risks For Children
However too much of anything can be an issue. Like adults, children who invest lots of hours in front of a computer have a greater risk of establishing computer ergonomics problems and computer vision syndrome. Computer ergonomics is the research study of people’s efficiency at their computer work stations. Problems with computer ergonomics are carefully related to computer vision syndrome, which can impact children along with adults.
Another possible issue of too much screen time (from computers, e-readers, computer game and smartphones) for children’s eyes is overexposure to damaging blue light. All digital devices with seeing screens emit substantial quantities of blue light (also called “high-energy noticeable light” or “HEV light”) which might increase a child’s risk of macular degeneration later on in life.
Though the sun releases substantially more HEV light than computers and other digital devices, the added direct exposure to blue light kids get from these devices and how close these electronic screens are to a child’s eyes for hours each day have many eye care service providers stressed over prospective eye damage gradually.
And lots of eye care specialists who focus on children’s vision think extended computer use among children puts them at risk for progressive myopia.
For these reasons, it’s a great idea to set standards for your children when it concerns the amount of time they invest in front of a computer.
How To Reduce Your Child’s Risk Of Computer-Related Vision Problems
To decrease your youngster’s risk of childhood computer vision syndrome and computer ergonomics problems, ensure he or she is seated conveniently and has a “neutral” posture when working at the computer. Attributes of this posture include:
- Head is stabilized on neck, not slanted back or forward. Computer screen need to be placed roughly 15 degrees below eye level.
- Back is straight and shoulders back but relaxed. Avoid slumping forward over the keyboard.
- Arm are close to the body and unwinded, not angled away from his sides or slanted forward.
- Lower arms are flat on the desk, with the elbows forming a minimum of a 90-degree angle.
- Hands are almost level with lower arm, with little wrist flex.
- Feet are flat on the floor or a footrest, with knees forming a minimum of a 90-degree angle. (The angle behind the knee ought to be open; do not tuck legs under the chair.)
Numerous specialists also advise avoiding the computer every 20 to 30 minutes to stand and extend. This assists relieve muscle tension that can add to computer vision problems and computer ergonomics issues.
Computer Eyeglasses for Children
Do computer glasses work for kids? Find out why you should motivate your kid to wear computer eyeglasses.
Reducing The Risks Of Blue Light Exposure
Computers and other digital devices aren’t going away, and it’s unlikely your child will use his/her electronic devices less in the future. If your child currently is using prescription spectacles, the best method to minimize exposure to blue light when using electronic devices is to buy eyeglass lenses that are specially treated to block harmful HEV rays.
A number of eyeglasses business are now providing these blue-blocking eyeglass lenses, which have only a minimal tint and can be used full-time for all activities. Examples include Crizal Prevencia No-Glare lenses (Essilor) and BluTech lenses (Signet Armorlite).
Defense from blue light likewise is readily available by buying eyeglass lenses for your child that include an anti-reflective coating specifically developed to obstruct HEV rays. Examples of these include Hoya Recharge AR coating (Hoya Vision) and SeeCoat Blue AR coating (Nikon).
Reducing The Risk Of Myopia Linked To Computer Use
Though heredity seems to play a substantial function in the advancement of myopia in youth, some research suggests that eye strain, and specifically computer eye strain, also may be involved.
To see plainly up close, the eye has to exert focusing effort. Some scientists feel that fatigue triggered by extreme focusing can cause modifications within the eye that cause myopia. And specialists concur that concentrating on images on a computer screen causes greater eye tiredness than checking out normal print in a book or publication.
To minimize the risk of focusing fatigue that can cause advancing nearsightedness among kids who invest a great deal of time on a computer, lots of optometrist suggest regular breaks from computer work. Some call this the “20-20-10” rule: Every 20 minutes your child need to take his eyes off the computer and take a look at an item at least 20 feet away for at least 10 seconds.
This easy workout relaxes the focusing muscle inside the eye and may help in reducing eye strain and eye tiredness that could cause progressive myopia. Some optometrist also recommend unique computer glasses to help alleviate eye strain.
Tips For Monitoring Computer Use By Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is an organization that sets requirements of excellence for programs designed for children from birth through age 8. The company bases these requirements on existing research in child advancement and on the professional opinions of early childhood teachers.
NAEYC has actually issued the following particular suggestions concerning computer use by young children. In addition to assisting your child have the best educational experience when working on a computer, these strategies also may decrease your young kid’s risk of fatigue-related eye strain, computer vision syndrome and computer ergonomics issues:.
- Computers must supplement, not replace, academic activities such as art, books, music, outside expedition, dramatic play and socializing with other children.
- Parents should guide children’s use of computers. Be on hand to assist your child, response concerns and interact with him as he works on the computer.
- Take the time to observe your child at the computer and participate in computer activities with him. Observing children operating at a computer can reveal a lot about the method they believe and resolve problems.
- Motivate your child to deal with a sibling or good friend at the computer whenever possible. Using computers with others motivates important social skills, such as turn-taking and cooperation, and helps build your child’s capability to speak and listen.
- Discover more about software application for children, and thoroughly sneak peek the software application your child uses. While lots of top quality items are readily available, some software application is not proper for young kids due to the fact that it is difficult to use, highlights violent styles or does not foster language or learning.
Preparing Your Child For Using Computers At School
To make sure your kids are all set for computer use at school, schedule an extensive eye examination for them prior to the start of every school year. This test should include tests that examine near vision abilities for computer use and reading in addition to visual acuity testing that is performed both throughout the room and up close.
Inform your optometrist if your child has actually shown any signs of eye or vision issues, such as squinting, regular eye rubbing, red eyes, head turns and other uncommon postures, or if he or she experiences blurred vision or eye fatigue when reading or using a computer. Avoidance of computer work may also indicate vision issues.
Computers are an important (and essentially unavoidable) part of your child’s life and education. A thorough eye test each year during the school years can help him be as comfortable as possible and perform at his best during computer work. In some cases, a recommendation to a children’s vision specialist and/or a program of vision therapy may be suggested to resolve computer- or learning-related vision problems.