The modern day Digital Screen based Gadgets have become an extension of our body, and Kids today claim to have the birth right to use them. The panic they create and tantrum they throw when we restrict or separate our Kids from these Gadgets is not a pleasant one. Remember when elders warn the Kids to restrict Screen Time, it does watch the advisor, and any amount of explanation or justification of ‘adult use’ is not acceptable to Kids. The 20-20-20 rule may be a remedy to ensure some amount of safety to our Kids Eyes.
It is but for sure that the Eyes play an important role from birth to death and is also one among the vital organs. We in the present era and using the organ with more vigor than what our ancestors did. It is also a known fact that the ubiquitous use of tablets, computers, video games, and televisions harm our vision. The lenses in our eyes change shape to focus in on closer objects—it’s just that our eyes weren’t built to spend lots of time doing it. Also, images on screens change colors frequently and also flicker multiple times per second, the continued dilation and constriction of the pupil is also a process that the eye does to accommodate the light that is thrown from the Gadget Screen. All this is not good for the Eyes.
Among Kids, we see a larger problem related to the eyes; the continued use of such Screen based gadgets have an adverse effect on their delicate eyes. It is understood that around the fifth month after birth is when the child is able to assimilate the three-dimensional aspect of vision. Although an infant’s color vision is not as sensitive as an adult’s, it is generally believed that babies have good color vision by the fifth month. The Hand-Eye coordination is completely mature by the 24 months of birth, this then is surely the appropriate age to hand them over a video-game. However, eye doctors are worried that the screen flicker and the erratic pattern of instigating the eye lens and pupil to change form is sure to adversely affect the vision of the child subsequently. The results are obvious:
sore, tired or burning eyes
blurred or double vision
watery, itchy or dry eyes
- Also, as the child approaches middle age, we see that they lose near vision. The eye’s lens becomes less flexible and focusing on close objects is more difficult
There are also chances of developing permanent vision problems due to neuro issues due to extended screen use
It’s hard to limit kids’ screen time, especially when the child is mandated to use Gadgets for academic reasons. The Class Room education has also migrated from a ‘Blackboard-Chalk’ medium to the ‘Tablet-Smartscreen’ environment. The restriction on timings on screen use and the deprivation of gadgets will surely create an adverse effect, especially on the psychological front. Hence the alternative is to make Kids conscious of the adverse effect and look at breaking the habit through innovative means.
One of the ways is to install the habit of taking a break from the Screen. Adults can try to enforce the 20-20-20 rule on the Kids: After every 20 minutes using a screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. The 20/20/20 rule was popularised by one Dr. Jeff Anshell of US, a specialist in “vision ergonomics.”
Remember, Kids will never disclose their vision problems, as they fear that this will become a good reason for adults to withdraw the gadget from them. Kids who used screens for more than three hours a day were much more likely to be far-sighted and have astigmatism than kids who used screens less than that. Hence, it is better to impose time restrictions, rather than complete deprivation. Also, kids’ eyes should be examined yearly by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to address any burgeoning issues related to the eye, that may affect their academic persuasion and also in the life ahead.