By now, your children are out of school and are doing their summer-time “thing.” For some kids, that is vacationing and spending time with family, while for others, it is relaxing— watching tv, playing video games, or on the computer (phones) several hours of the day.
Computers, telephones, and computerized games have become a routine part of kids’ lives. Surveys show the average American child spends one to three hours daily on a computer surfing the Internet, reading, chatting online with friends, or playing video games. Kids are also using computers at a younger age now.
As parents, you wonder if too much computer use is affecting your kid’s eyes. Eye doctors who specialize in children’s vision will say that sustained computer use puts kids at higher risk for nearsightedness and focusing problems. Computer use, especially among youngsters whose eyes are still changing, may be the culprit for younger kids requiring glasses.
Computers puts more stress on the eyes than reading general books. This easily happens because kids tend to play the games at too close range and for hours without taking a break. Kids also never want to admit when their eyes are tired. This causes the eyes to work harder than they should. To prevent your child from developing eyestrain, here are some suggestions:
Have a comprehensive eye exam before school starts Set your child’s computer workstation 18 to 28 inches from the child to avoid eyestrain. Adjust the chair to avoid posture problems and strained neck, hand, and back muscles.
Look for signs of vision problems—red eye, rubbing eyes frequently, squinting
School is starting in about a month. Have your child’s eye exam early enough to have time to get the glasses they need. Ask your eye doctor to perform special tests to determine if your child has computer vision strain.
If you are in need of an eye care provider, I invite you to visit EnVision Eye Care. 321 W. Montgomery Crossroads, Savannah (near Hunter Golf Course) For appointments, call (912) 927-0707 and visit us at www.envisionsavannah.com