My child needs glasses. Are screens to blame?

The impact of screen-time on our children’s vision is a topic of ongoing debate in the medical community. 

One thing that’s crystal clear is that myopia - what you and I would call “short-sightedness” - is on the rise throughout the developed world.

In some cities in China, for example, more than nine out of ten university students need corrective lenses for myopia.

“This is one of the largest epidemics humanity has ever seen, far greater than the obesity epidemic,” observes University of Western Australia ophthalmology professor David Mackey.

Are screens to blame?

The question is, are screens to blame?

Yes and no, says Mackey. 

Writing this week in The Conversation, he points to the fact that the short-sightedness has been increasing worldwide well before the age of the smartphone, tablet and laptop. 

A generation ago, television was blamed for destroying kids’ eyesight. And a few of us may be old enough to remember parents scolding “Get your nose out of that book and give your eyes a rest!”

There is a grain of truth in all of these fears.

kitty

Three underlying factors

In fact, explains Mackey, the three most direct environmental causes of today’s myopia epidemic are reduced time spent in daylight, increased time spent on “near work” and (no doubt related to the first two) more years devoted to education. So in that sense, you could say that it is study, not screens, that’s the culprit here.

At the same time, it’s plain to see (sorry!) that screen use is interrelated with all of these factors, and is helping to drive the trend. 

Genetics also plays a role in myopia, and children whose parents are short-sighted and more likely to need glasses, no matter how much or little they use screens or study in artificial light.

shutterstock_199870877

“Go play outside!”

Limiting screen-time is a first step to protecting kids’ eyesight. But getting them outside, away from indoor light and into natural daylight, should be the goal, Mackey urges.

Put the focus on your family's health and wellbeing this year - and make Family Zone a part of it. 

Start your free trial right now, and create a home where digital children thrive.

Tell me more!

Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, eyesight, vision, myopia

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | musical.ly | Social Media | tiktok | child development | self-harm | sexualisation
    One mum's jaw-dropping journey through TikTok
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | online safety | cyberbullying | privacy | Houseparty | pornbombing | data mining
    "Houseparty" is off the hook right now: What parents need to know
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about

    Recent posts

     
    TikTok: Dangerous by design

    “TikTok can’t be fixed. Its problems lie in its very conception and the culture behind it. My advice is to avoid it like the plague. Don’t ...

     
    "Go get coronavirus and die": How cyberbullying has mutated, and what you can do about it

    Cyberbullying has bloomed like an out-of-control virus during the COVID-19 pandemic. But in this case, handwashing - or for that matter ...

     
    Many parents are too embarrassed to talk about it ...

    We know these things can happen when kids go online. But not our kids. So let's just say "We heard about a child who ..."

     
    Five easy ways to make screen-time healthier and more satisfying

    It's not just how much screen-time we use. It's the way we use it.