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Computer Vision Syndrome and Kids

We live in a world where technology is constantly evolving, but sometimes we forget just how big of a role it plays in our life until our technology habits are mirrored right back at us by kids.

When my niece was just 3 years old, she would ask to have her picture taken with my phone, and immediately she wanted to see the picture. She already caught on. To her, that instant feedback is expected. She is a digital native. She will never have to wait to get a roll of film developed unless she develops a passion for photography.

According to a study featured in an article by TIME, over 40% of kids under the age of eight, spend 11 hours a day in front of a screen! This isn’t just about plopping down in front of the television anymore. Screen time includes the use of smartphones, tablets, computers, handheld game systems etc.

Even though you may be mostly stationary when using these technologies they can pose a significant amount of strain on the body. These digital-related symptoms are referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).

Symptoms of CVS include eyestrain, headaches, dry eye, neck or back pain and even blurred vision. Many of the symptoms of CVS are short-term and can be prevented by creating healthy digital habits, including limiting time spent using mobile devices, spending time outdoors and  adjusting font sizes and lighting on computer monitors.

It is important for parents to remember that they are their children’s first teachers. Modeling healthy technology habits can play a significant role in teaching young children how to interact with technology. Plus, CVS affects people of all ages, so why not pamper your eyes?

Don’t disregard symptoms of CVS as they sometimes have other causes that can be determined by an eye doctor. Sharing your technology habits with an eye doctor can also help them to prescribe lenses that best fit your lifestyle.

By Dave Johnston

VSP Blog

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