Is Too Much Screen Time Bad For Kids?
How Much Screen Time Is Too Much For Kids?
In Singapore, checking in your son to bed but only to find he is playing “Minecraft”. Or your daughter is busy texting in WhatsApp when she supposed to be studying?
Children are so attached to their digital devices today, and all that reading, texting and playing games on their devices may be harming their vision. To reduce screen time, parents are starting to limit the hours of screen time. For example, when a limit of an hour screen time has been reached, no more texting, game playing or YouTube watching.
Meaning Of "Screen Time"
“Screen time” represents the time you spend using digital devices such as computers, laptops, tablets (iPad) and smartphones.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is recommended to have 1 hour of screen time per day for children under 5 years old. As the child gets older, it is very likely for them to spend significantly more time staring at digital screens than their parents.
According to a survey done in Singapore, children who are 12 years old spend 6.5 hours daily on digital devices. 65 percent of the 12 years old children are myopic.
Due to this prolonged periods of screen time, at least one of the following symptoms after being exposed to more than two hours of screen time per day: 1. Headaches
2. Neck/Shoulder Pain
3. Eye strain, dry or irritated eyes
4. Reduced attention span
5. Poor body postures
Any of these symptoms mentioned above could potentially affect academic performance and social interactions. The rapid rise of myopia, also known as short-sightedness, has been linked to increase usage and exposure to digital devices.
Why Blue Light Is Harmful
Blue light in general has shorter wavelengths and higher energy than other visible light rays. In laboratory testing, it has shown that blue light may be harmful to the light-sensitive retina of the eye over time.
Blue light also plays a role in regulating our body's circadian rhythm. What it means is that our internal clock that is running in our brain and cycles between alertness and drowsiness at regular intervals over a 24-hour period. It is also called our sleep/wake cycle. Excessive exposure to blue light at the wrong time of day can disrupt a person’s normal sleep/wake cycle which can lead to serious health consequences.
How To Cut Down Screen Time
It is very unlikely for kids to reduce their use of digital devices in Singapore. The answer lies in taking steps to limit the amount of blue light reaching their eyes while they are using these devices.
One common solution is to purchase blue cut eyeglasses from EMM3 Visioncare that reduces the amount of blue light that enters the eyes from digital devices such as computers, laptops and smartphones screens. The eye strain in children is reduced significantly and allow them to concentrate better during school work.
To further reduce the risk of your child disrupting his or her sleep/wake cycle, come into an agreement with them about a ‘no-screens’ rule at least two hours before their bedtime. Or you can set a time limit on your child’s digital devices where they will need your permission in order to use them. This allows you to monitor your child’s daily screen time.
Start protecting your child’s vision with our Blue Cut Lenses while they are using digital devices today!