Kids these days are inseparable from their electronic devices, so much that it’s becoming a cause for concern for several reasons, including increased sedentary behaviour, poor quality sleep, vision problems, poor grades, and more. With kids aged 8 to 18 spend an average of 7+ hours per day staring at their screens, many health experts are encouraging parents to start limiting that time to no more than 2 hours per day. So, if you’ve been wondering whether you should be letting your kids have screen time before bed, read on to learn why restricting it is a good idea.
Though electronic devices are often used to calm kids during the evening as they wind down for bed, they can actually do the exact opposite. Staring at a screen has shown to interfere with our natural sleep rhythm and cycles. This is a result of the blue light that’s emitted from the TV, tablet, laptop, mobile or other electronic devices. When the kids are plugged in, that blue light signals to their brain that it’s daytime, which stimulates the body and wakens them.
Of course, as kids spend more time glued to their electronics, it means they’re spending less time physically moving their bodies. This leads to sedentary lifestyles which encourages obesity and increases their risk factor for developing other health-related problems as they continue to grow.
Studies have shown that kids who spend more than two hours per day watching television or plugged in online are more prone to develop social and emotional issues. These behavioral problems can impact how they interact with other kids as well as their ability to focus and pay attention, which can result in poor academic performance.
Some of the more direct impacts that screen time can have on your kids are regarding their vision. Since their eyes are so aptly focused on that blue screen for hours on end, it increases the risk of damage to their eyes. Specifically, it’s leading to an increase in nearsightedness, eye fatigue, blurred vision, headaches, and more. Limiting the amount of exposure to screens is crucial for giving their eyes a break from straining to focus for such long periods of time.
If you’re concerned about potential damage to your child’s vision due to excessive screen time, contact us at Laurier Optical. We offer eye examinations onsite at our locations across Ontario. We welcome walk-ins or appointments.