Are you worried about how much time your children spend in front of a screen?
You’re not alone. An AO.com survey pointed to children spending on average around 17 hours a week in front of a screen – almost double the 8.8 weekly hours spent playing outside. This is a worrying statistic as prolonged screen use can lead to Digital Eye Strain, increased fatigue and headaches.
According to Tech Advisor UK, the average age for kids getting a phone or other screen based devices is 10, but many children are introduced to tablets and screens at an earlier age now. In addition to phones and tablets, many children now have their own televisions in their bedrooms, often accompanied by a gaming console such as a Playstation, XBox or Nintendo.
Technology is so ingrained in our lives that it can be easy to forget the effects it has on our bodies, especially our eyes.
These heavily used screens outlined above, emit blue light that can lead to problems in adult eyes, let alone the developing eyes of a child. This is especially prominent in our lives today as many of us work from home, study from home, and use screens to communicate with loved ones.
Blue light suppresses the secretion of Melatonin, an important hormone your body produces to help you fall asleep. This means using digital devices late before bed can make it harder to fall asleep or lead to a poorer quality of sleep.
It can also develop into Digital Eye Strain, which can cause Eye Fatigue, Blurry Vision and Headaches. Our bodies are not evolved to use screens for such long periods and this can be an unfortunate side effect of modern life.
Fortunately, we can take steps to minimise the strain placed on our eyes and those of our children.
A general good rule of advice is to establish screen time rules for the whole family. Many surveys and studies indicate that screen time should be limited to two-hours a day, not including essential purposes such as work, study or communication. This rule should be followed by all members of the household and will also create more opportunities for valuable family time.
This rule is especially important for family bonding, as some researchers have shown that 70% of children think their parents spend too much time on devices, and accuse their parents of double standards. The model children follow for their behaviour and time spent on devices is directly influenced by their parents, so the best way to address the amount of time children spend on devices, is to monitor your own and that of your family. You should also check your devices such as Smartphones, tablets and computers to see if they have built in Blue Light Filters and activate them if they do.
There are other ways to protect our eyes when using screens during essential times, such as Henshaw Blue-Block glasses. These glasses are designed specifically to address the issue of blue light emitting from our devices and protect your eyes. A Henshaw Blue Light Filter Lens will filter out up to 92% of harmful Blue Light and help to reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Check out our collection of Blue Block Glasses here.