How to protect your child's eyes and vision from screens ?
There are some easy things you can do to decrease your child's risk of eye and vision problems from prolonged use of computers and digital devices during the period of online education.
1. Avoid long time eye use and encourage frequent visual breaks
One of the most important things you should do to reduce your child's risk of eye strain is to get them to follow the "20-20-20" rule: Every 20 minutes, take eyes off the screen, reading or writing, and look out a window or at an object that's at least 20 feet away (6 meters away) for at least 20 seconds.
This simple task relaxes the focusing and eye alignment muscles, reduce the risk of symptoms of digital eye strain. Obeying the 20-20-20 rule also might decrease the risk of myopia progression. Some research suggests focusing fatigue may be associated with the onset and worsening of myopia. Taking frequent breaks from staring at digital screens helps reduce this fatigue.
2. Choose appropriate screen and keep viewing distances
How to choose electronic devices for online education? Basically, bigger is better. TV or projecting screen to TV is the best choice. Computer is better than iPad, while iPad is better than smartphone.
Adjusting seat back and height to make the center of the screen is directly in front of the eyes or slightly lower with10-20 degrees slanting to the vision.
If your child uses computer/ iPad / smartphone for online education, make sure that any screen she uses is at least an arm's length away. It is a super easy way to reduce the strain on the eyes.
If your child uses TV for online education, the recommended distance for viewing a LCD TV is three (3) times of the TV diagonal screen size. For example, if the TV size is 55 inch, the recommended viewing distance is 55x2.54x3=4.19m. If the TV size is 42 inch, the recommended viewing distance is 42x2.54x3=3.2m.
3. Adjust Your Screen Settings and avoid reflections on the screen
Measures to protect your child's eyes from computer screen come with minor changes you can make on your computer screen. Lowering the brightness, switching the color spectrum toward the yellow-ish side (i.e. away from the blue end), and inverting your colors into a black-and-white scheme are all potentially viable strategies for helping your child to reduce the eye strain. In addition, make sure there are no reflections on the screen. Avoid things like a glare from the sun, or a weird reflection pattern on your screen, which could strain your eyes even more than usual.
4. Practice Good Posture
Encourage children to adopt good posture when using electronic devices for online education. Although good posture is mostly encouraged with regard to computers to prevent back pain, it has strong links with your eye sight as well. Do not use the laptop / iPad on the bed or sofa, while lying flat on your back.
We can encourage posture checks and move the head and neck during the interval of the online education. The 20-20-20 visual breaks during is also a good time to sit up straight and realign the head, neck and shoulders. Moving the head slowly to the right and left and also up and down can relieve strained muscles and reduce fatigue. In addition, encourage child to get up to walk and stretch the entire body also is a good idea to reduce the risk of non-visual symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
5. Blink eyes frequently
Another extremely easy way to protect eyes from computer screen is by blinking. Normally we blink around 20 times per minute but when reading book or reading on a computer screen this number may drop to 2-3 or fewer blinks per minute. We need to blink to moisture our eyes and when you are not blinking enough you will have dry eyes. Remind your child to blink more to moisture eyes when looking at a screen.
6. Do eyes exercises
One of the most important eye care tips to protect eyes from screen is to do a few simple eye exercises to protect eyes from getting strained. Apart from the above mentioned 20-20-20 rules, a second exercise you can do is look at a near object for fifteen seconds and then look at an object that is far away from the computer for another fifteen seconds.
7. Enjoys outdoors sunlight
Natural sunlight outdoors creates a release of dopamine from the retina, and that dopamine regulates the information transmission between the sclera and retina and slows down the growth of the eye ocular axis, keeps the eye smaller and prevents or lowers the risk of becoming myopic. However, when opening the window to enjoy the sunshine, you should avoid direct sunlight to your eyes.
8. Relax Eyes with Warm Compress
It relaxes the muscles around the eyes, reduces strain, and soothes dry eyes. Ask your child to lie down comfortably and place the warm cloth over closed eyelids. Relax and breathe slowly for 1 minute and repeat the process three or four times. Follow this treatment one or two times daily. Steam eye mask can also be used to for warm compress about 10-15 minutes. It should be noted that warm compress should be used for no more than 25 minutes to avoid low temperature burn. In addition, warm compress should not be used when wearing contact lens.
9. Good foods for eye
Eating foods with some certain micronutrients will help a lot in preserving the eye health. Vitamin A, Carotenoids, and Omega-3 Fatty Acids are just some of the micronutrients beneficial to your eye health. Vegetables are the best source of Vitamin A. These include kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Foods rich in carotenoids include eggs, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini. Fish oil, salmon, flax seeds, avocados, and walnuts are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids. In addition, blueberries, packed with VitA, VitC, VitE, anthocyanins and other antioxidants, are also one of the healthiest foods for the eyes.
10. Get enough sleep
Get enough sleep at night helps your child’s eye rest and recuperate after long hours of online education, therefore reduced the risk of nearsightedness. Basically, children between 6 to 12 years old need 9 to 12 hours sleep every 24hours, while teens 13 to 18 years old require 8-10 hours sleep per night.