In some homes, summer can mean more screen time for children.
And some of the concerns that children spend more on digital devices, video games, and TVs, spending less time outdoors, are harmful to the eyes.
However, only half of parents are aware that screen time has a significant impact on their child’s eye health. This suggests a national survey of pediatric health at the CS Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan.
“Many parents may be unaware of both short-term and long-term health problems associated with excessive screen time, including effects on their children’s eyes,” said Sarah Clarke, co-director of Mottpole. I am saying.
“Our findings suggest that some parents may have an inaccurate perception of activities and ways to minimize risks that affect their child’s eye health and vision. I am. “
The nationally representative report is based on responses from 2,002 parents of children aged 3 to 18 years surveyed in April.
Some experts have combined increased screen time with shorter outdoor time as a factor that may put a child at risk of developing myopia or myopia that may cause serious eye problems in the future. Is pointed out. The rate of myopia in children has increased dramatically over the last 30 years.
Research is ongoing, but research suggests that outdoor time protects against myopia.
“Because exposure to natural light helps with eye development, parents should encourage at least 1-2 hours of outdoor time per day,” Clark said.
“Parents need to enforce family rules to allow their children to sustain time other than screen time during the day, which means they are absent from school during the summer and have structured downtime. Especially important when there are few. “
Some studies have also shown an association with working near increasing the likelihood of myopia (reading, tablet use, etc.).
“It’s an important time to think about the risks of myopia in children, as children in this state often develop myopia over time,” said Dr. Olivia Killeen, an ophthalmologist at the UM Health Kellogg Eye Center, who consulted with the report. I am saying.
“The age of onset of myopia is the most important predictor of severe myopia in later years.”
Use eyewear to minimize the risk to your child’s eyes
Another Overlooked Area of Eye Health – Protects Small Eyes from Strong Sunlight.
Less than one-third of parents surveyed say that wearing sunglasses outdoors has a significant impact on their children’s eyesight and eye health, with two in five wearing sunglasses outdoors on their children. I’m letting you.
In fact, when children are outdoors, they should wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat to reduce the risk of UV damage. This can cause eye problems in the elderly.
Parents often make sure that their children’s skin is protected by sunscreen, but they may not even consider protecting their eyes from the sun. “
Sarah Clarke, Co-Director of Mott Paul
Many polled parents also skip steps that help minimize active eye injuries, including the risk of objects hitting the child’s eyes at high speed or force, and less than one-third of parents, The child states that he is wearing protective glasses or goggles during contact sports.
Clark recommends that parents seek advice from their child’s health provider on safe and comfortable eyewear for sports such as lacrosse, tennis, baseball and softball, and basketball.
However, if most parents surveyed perform activities that pose a risk of eye injury, such as manipulating tools or playing shooting games such as Nerf guns and paintball, children and teens should wear protective glasses or goggles. It says to wear.
After spending time on the screen, the most common factors that parents identify as affecting their child’s eyesight and eye health are reading in the dark, how close the child is to the TV / screen, and eating. Therapy, blue light from the screen.
“Some parents may still follow advice from past generations regarding protecting their children’s eyes,” Clark said. “Reading in the dark or sitting near the TV can cause eye strain and tension, but it does not cause permanent damage or long-term eye problems.”
Less than one-third of parents say their children wear glasses that block the blue light. The amount of blue light does not hurt your eyes, but it can affect your circadian rhythm and make it difficult for your child to fall asleep. Experts recommend that children stop using blue light screens at least one hour before bedtime.
Regular eye checks to detect problems early
Four out of five parents reported that their child had a vision test while seeing a pediatrician or family doctor, and more than a quarter said their child was tested at school or day care.
Most parents report that their child’s health insurance covers all or part of the cost of an ophthalmologist’s visit, but says 9% does not and 7% is unknown. Parents who report not being seen by an ophthalmologist are less likely to say that their child has seen an ophthalmologist in the last two years than parents who are fully or partially covered.
One in seven parents say their child has not had a vision test or an ophthalmologist in the last two years.
“Children should have an eye test at least every two years to make sure their eyes are properly developed,” Clark said.
“Undiagnosed problems can lead to serious eye conditions in the future, including permanent loss of vision, so it is important to identify and treat vision problems as soon as possible.”
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