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How Too Much Screen Time Affects Kids [INFOGRAPHIC]

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Are digital drugs turning our kids into addicts who are always jonesing for their next fix?

  • Screen Addiction: Experts Report That Using Tech Devices is a Form of “Digital Drug”
    • Dopamine’s “feel good” release forms addictions
      • Foundation for drug, gambling, sexual, and tech addictions
      • g., Inhaling nicotine triggers the release of dopamine and addiction just like winning a video game
    • The brain’s frontal cortex manages how we control our impulses
      • Brain imaging research shows screen technologies and cocaine affect our brain’s frontal cortex in the same way
      • g., Compulsive/erratic behaviors like temper tantrums
    • But can we really gauge tech addiction?
      • Drawing the line between addiction and normal activities is almost impossible as technology is everywhere

If hindsight is 20/20—be proactive when it comes to how much screen time you allow your kids

  • Caution, Eye Danger Ahead: How Much Screen Time Is Too Much for Your Kids?
    • Daily time spent on digital screens across the generations
      • 6% of kids (1997-2014) spend 3+ hours
      • 4% of Millennials (Born 1981-1996) spend at least 9 hours
      • 32% of Gen Xers (Born 1965-1980) spend at least 9 hours
      • 26% of Baby Boomers (1946-1964) spend at least 9 hours

1 out of 4 children use these devices 3+ hours per day for school work, social, or personal play time

  • Children increasingly learn how to use technology before they can talk, walk, or read risking serious consequences to the development of young eyes
  • Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), a.k.a., digital eye strain
    • Blurred vision and difficulty focusing
    • Headaches/migraines
    • Sore neck
    • Sensitivity to light
  • The main cause of dry eye syndrome means eyes don’t make enough quality tears to lubricate/nourish the eye
    • Irritated, gritty, scratchy, or burning eyes
    • Excess watering and blurred vision
  • 70% of parents who allow 3+ hours of screen time/day or don’t limit screen time at all report they’re very about digital screen impact on their children’s eyes
  • Nearsightedness (Myopia) is skyrocketing

Researchers report that too much “screen time” and not enough sunlight may

Be key culprits in this condition where close objects can be seen clearly, but objects far away can not

  • Asia
    • 90+% of the population have been diagnosed as nearsighted
    • Up from 10-20% 60 years ago
  • US
    • Over the last 30 years, nearsightedness among Americans has increased from 25% to 41.6% of the US population
      • That’s an increase of more than 66%
    • Childhood myopia among American children has increased more than 2X over the last 50 years

Although limiting screen time may be the best way to proactively combat digital eye strain for your kiddos, good habits can help!

  • Find the Right Balance: Teach Tech Practices That Are Responsible
    • No double standards
      • Put your phone away at mealtimes and make sure to keep phones in a central place when it’s time to sleep—no bedrooms!
    • Encourage “Old School” Fun
      • Paper books and board games can be a fun family/friend activity that don’t involve digital screens
    • Encourage children to take breaks when using digital devices
      • Teach the 20-20-20 rule
        • Every 20 minutes
        • Take a 20-second break
        • Look at something 20 feet away
      • Set up a child friendly workstation
        • Optimal computer screen viewing is at a 15-degree angle and should be adjusted for a child’s height

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Learn more about how to protect your eyes from WhatisDryEye.com