Children and the use of electronic screens: tips to take care of your visual health

Experts have been warning for some time that the prolonged use of smartphones and tablets is damaging our visual health, especially that of the little ones. Not surprisingly, recent research speaks of 20 percent of myopic children before they are seven years old, due to the time they spend in front of screens. 

For this, and for many other reasons, parents should limit the use of this type of device in childhood as much as possible, in addition to taking into account a series of measures so that screens do not negatively affect the health of their eyes. 

screen filters 

A recent study carried out by the Complutense University of Madrid ensures that the screens of electronic devices emit up to five times more short-wave light that is highly harmful to the eyes. In fact, they point out that prolonged exposure to LED screens could irreversibly damage the retina. 

Children and adolescents are the most vulnerable population, as their lens is still developing and does not filter light efficiently. For this reason, it is common that after a time in front of the screens they experience itchy eyes or visual fatigue. In the long run, this could lead to significant vision loss. 

For this reason, just as we use approved sunglasses to protect them from the sun’s rays, it is essential to use a filter or eye protector on the screen, which not only helps reduce the symptoms of visual fatigue, but also prevents the risk of cell death. of the retina. 

Light and brightness settings 

But in addition to the use of approved filters, it is important to adjust the brightness of the screens to the time of day in which we find ourselves. In this way, at night we must reduce the brightness to the maximum, since the blue light emitted by the screens causes macular degeneration, an irreversible eye disorder that slowly destroys sharp, central vision. 

It should also be remembered that the use of screens at night is one of the main enemies of children’s sleep, affecting circadian rhythms, and the quantity and quality of hours of rest, which can cause significant sleep disorders. 

Keep your distance and rest your eyes 

Experts also advise that to prevent the eye from settling down and beginning to suffer from fatigue, the child should place the screen at a distance greater than 35 cm, as well as increase the size of the font and icons, and rest their eyes every 20 minutes of use. 

Also, remember that the American Association of Pediatrics does not recommend its use in children under 18 months, and up to five years it should be limited to one hour a day. 

Although the introduction into daily life of these devices is inevitable and brings many advantages, it also has drawbacks if they are not used correctly, so it is essential to follow the advice of experts and control the time of use. 

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