At we know that it’s not always easy to separate your kids from their screens. The alluring glow of tablets, smartphones, TVs and computers are all around us! But pediatric eye doctors the world over agree that making that extra effort to reduce their screen time where and when you can, will help their overall eye health, as well as potentially improve their performance in school and in extra-curricular activities.
Here are 5 quick tips on how to reduce your child’s screen time:
Be realistic with your expectations, and take it slow
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children have no more than one to two hours per day on screens, depending on their age. But if your children are engaging with screens for significantly more time than this each day, you’ll likely encounter a lot of resistance from your kids if you try to jump straight to these recommendations. Instead, take your time and slowly reduce the amount of screen time, so that your children have time to adjust to the idea over time.
Be accountable and set a good example
Say what you mean and mean what you say. If you tell your kids that you’re reducing screen time slowly in the house, be consistent in enforcing the time limit. But don’t just apply it to your kids. When you ask them to put away screens, you should make every effort to put your screens away, too.
Out of sight, out of mind
When it’s time to put screens away, be sure to set hand-held devices like tablets and smartphones to charge out of sight. This reduces the temptation to return to screens (for you and your kids) and avoids constantly reminding your kids of what they’re “missing out on.”
When it’s time to put away screens, find ways to engage your kids in person-to-person activities. Play board games with them, put together puzzles, do a coloring or drawing activity. The sky’s the limit!
Get everyone outside
Getting outside for a walk is a great way to get away from screens and get the endorphins flowing. Not only does it create great non-screen time, but sunlight is proven to be good for your child’s mood and is healthy for their eyes, too!
Reducing screen time to the recommended 1-2 hours every day can help your child academically and promote eye and vision health. Speak to your child’s eye doctor today to learn more about how you promote your child’s overall vision and eye health.
At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family's needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.
Want to Learn More? Read on!
Can screen time affect my child’s sleep patterns?
Yes. Blue light from the sun during the day sends signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up, preventing you from falling asleep. Unfortunately, blue light from smartphones and tablets imitates this same process, causing your child’s brain to “believe” it’s daytime, and releasing chemicals into the body to prevent sleep.
Can children experience computer vision syndrome?
Yes. Extended periods of time watching shows and playing games on tablets and smartphones can lead to many of the same eye and vision symptoms in children as in adults. Computer vision syndrome causes symptoms such as headache, blurry or double vision and eyestrain.