(WYTV) – Between watching TV, spending time on cell phones and using laptops at school, our children are spending a lot of time on screens these days. That’s not good for young eyes.
Ror the last 50 years, we’ve seen an increase in myopia in our children, nearsightedness: it’s doubled. Why?
Pediatric optometrists tell us it’s because they’re spending too much time indoors, not enough time outside in the sunshine.
“I really recommend outside time, playing on the playground, playing sports, anything outdoors. They found that the sunlight is what is that positive mechanism to decrease the increase in myopia,” said Dr. Tucker, a pediatric optometrist.
Len says in addition to nearsightedness, out children are looking at their devices so much they get digital eye strain: dry eyes, headaches, maybe blurry vision.
“Computer Vision Syndrome is actually the clinical term we’re using for it and that’s just the fatigue of the eyes,” said Dr. Tucker.
Pediatric optometrists have that they call the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes your child is looking at a screen, have him or her look up at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds and try to blink 20 times, too.
Kelly Morgan of New Middletown tells me she’s happy her daughter is raising her grandchildren the right way.
“She has a lot of times that they’re allowed on there for gaming and that type of thing. But she does make sure that they get outside to play quite a bit,” said Morgan.
“We always want to have an annual eye exam just to make sure that we’re checking the eyes, make sure that there’s no prescription that can be solved and make sure that the dryness is under control,” said Dr. Tucker.
For children age five to about 18, no more than two hours of recreational screen time a day and that should do the trick.