Your child’s favourite device might be harming them

Your child’s favourite device might be harming them

As technology becomes ever more ingrained in our lives, our kids are using devices from the moment their small hands can grab them. Recent studies into the behavioural patterns of children have shown screen time only increases with age, leading scientists to wonder how young, developing eyes are impacted by all of these devices.

There is a wealth of evidence to suggest prolonged exposure to screens can have negative impacts, and for children the consequences can be dire.

As we get older, our eyes develop protective filters, which help to protect our eyes from the blue light that illuminates our devices. This process of development continues until age 35, meaning that the younger you are, the more susceptible you will be to health issues caused by these high-energy wavelengths.

Childhood is the most pivotal time for eye health, and prolonged blue light exposure can cause severe issues in both the short and long-term.

What are all those devices doing to our kids’ eyes?

If your child spends a lot of time using technology, the first thing you may notice is a change in their sleep habits. The blue light emitted from devices is known to delay the release of melatonin, so it keeps us awake. This flood of hormones tricks our bodies into thinking it’s daytime, and resets our internal clock. Adolescents are already more sensitive to hormone changes, and when you couple this with eyesight that is yet to mature, sleep cycles can suffer severely.  

Sleep is also crucial for growing bodies. Symptoms of disrupted sleep in children include changes to behaviour, lack of concentration and weight gain due to over-eating. But it gets worse; a recent study by the NHS, discovered lack of sleep can even disrupt the development of a child’s brain.

Prolonged exposure to blue light is also known to cause digital eye-strain, with symptoms including blurred vision, headaches and poor concentration. If you’ve noticed school grades slipping, this may be one of the reasons. 

The long term impact of blue light

Recent research has uncovered some troubling information about the long-term impacts of blue light on young eyes. According to the AMDF, overexposure to blue light may increase the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration – with an earlier onset.  This debilitating eye disease blurs fine detail, restricts central vision, and makes everyday activities more difficult. 

Vision for the future

So what can we do to protect our children’s eyes? While experts recommend limiting blue light exposure to two hours per day, most parents know this isn’t realistic. We are all increasingly reliant on devices, and kids use computers all day at school and at home for study. Even if you reduce gaming, YouTube or social media time, you can't limit their learning potential.

The answer is simple – blue light filter glasses. Recommended by Harvard health experts, it’s eyewear that is specially designed to filter out harmful blue light, increase contrast and reduce glare. Baxter Blue glasses are a popular pick with parents because the stylish range also comes in kids sizes.

Not only do they look cool, they protect your kids’ eyes while they explore everything online in this digital age.

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