Hi-tech is not always great eye-tech for kids

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Today, parents everywhere are increasingly grabbing the attention of their toddlers with flashy gadgets, as we become a more connected society and working parents may be online all day, even when parenting around the kids.

Parents are also turning to these same connected devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to help manage children and we now see lots of kids being entertained with games and apps, to help keep them occupied and allow parents to manage other things around the family.

But does this hi-tech make good eye-tech, when it comes to children’s vision?

On the one hand, it has a positive impact on hand-eye coordination and for the stimulation of neurons in the brain, as some of the games kids play are quite challenging and educational.

On the other hand, these devices have bright screens and this can create side effects such as dryness of eyes, eye strain, blurry vision, focusing issues, and headaches.

Any longer than 20 minutes in front of an electronic screen can cause eye strain.

Kids stare at the screens intensively and don’t blink as much while playing on devices and so tears don’t spread across the eyes leading to dryness.

Technology is all around us and children can certainly benefit from the learning opportunities it can create.

However, parents should limit the screen time for kids to no more than 20 minutes at a time to protect the eyes and vision of their children.

Dr. Darakhshanda Khurram is a Consultant Paediatric Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai.

www.moorfields.ae