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Tips For Preventing Eye Strain In Kids

eye strain in kids
We’re living in a digital age, and kids are becoming more tapped in at younger and younger ages. Eyestrain is becoming a bigger problem for young kids and preschoolers, but there are several ways to combat it. Here are six tips for protecting your children from eyestrain that is a result of too much television and computer time at home.
Use proper lighting – Believe it or not, most eyestrain comes from excessively bright light around you while you’re on the computer. Keep the light in the room about half as bright as other rooms. Close blinds and get a desk lamp for your child’s desk or workspace with a lower watt bulb. Position the lamp so it’s beside the computer screen rather than behind or in front of it. The same applies for lighting while watching television. Keep overhead lights off and opt for wall sconces or floor laps instead.
Minimize glare – Television and computer screens are often accompanied but a harsh glare from windows, lights and walls. To combat this, opt for an anti-glare screen for your computer or television. These can be found in discount stores or stores specializing in technology. Also, consider painting the walls of your living room, office area or your child’s bedroom (wherever they will be watching television or using a computer) to be a darker, matte color.
Take breaks – Sitting in front of a television screen or computer screen for hours at a time isn’t good for anyone for many reasons – especially children. Their sensitive eyes need a break from the “boob tube” or computer, and they should have some time to exercise and stretch! If you have a DVR, pause or record the program and encourage your children to play elsewhere, work a puzzle, or go outside. Stretching back and leg muscles can help enhance posture, which is part of keeping your child’s eyes from straining. If your child is participating in a study session or something else that requires he looks at a screen for hours, make sure the breaks to stretch are at least 15 minutes or more. To prevent strain, use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, your child should look away from the computer at something 20 feet away from at least 20 seconds.
Get an eye exam – Eye exams are part of school readiness, but can also help you prevent and treat eye strain. If your child has shown any signs of eye problems, like frequent eye rubbing, blurred vision or red eyes, it’s time to schedule an eye exam. Eye exams can also help you find and prevent eye problems with corrective lenses.
Remind them to blink – If you’ve ever seen a child engrossed in a television program or game, you know they tend to stare without blinking – and that’s a BIG mistake! Demanding computer work and excessive television watching can decrease the blink rate from 25 to 5 blinks per minute, resulting in dry and irritated eyes.
Sit back – It’s important to keep a healthy distance away from a television or computer screen. Four to 15 feet is the right distance for the average television for optimal viewing. A computer should be 20 to 30 inches from your child’s eyes, and the top of the monitor or screen should be at eye level, which means your child should be looking down on her workspace or screen. For a tablet or handheld device, the distance between your child’s eyes and the device should be no closer than the distance between the elbow and first knuckle.
Author Bio: Steven is an author for anatomy now.  You can view his work if you click here. Steven is passionate about eye health and in his free time likes to play soccer
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