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High-tech learning could harm children's vision - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

High-tech learning could harm children's vision

From the moment they wake up, children are surrounded by screens. There are computers, tablets, smart phones and smart boards.

"My kids probably spend more time on devices then what I would like, but it varies from day to day," mom Angie Barnes says.

With one child already wearing glasses, Barnes is trying to figure out how much is too much when it comes to screen time for her kids.

"I am concerned that they're constantly looking down and texting or working on an iPad or computer," she said. "So, it's something, kind of another thing that we have to think about and are concerned with their development."

While technology can help children enjoy learning, it could also be hurting their vision. Children often accept vision problems as normal, not even realizing they have a problem. That's why it's up to parents, to pay close attention and recognize the warning signs.

"We're seeing those symptoms on computer vision syndrome, where they're getting eye strain after a few hours of using a digital device or even just reading a paper book and blurred vision, dry eyes, things of that nature, that we didn't see seven years ago before iPhones and tablets came out. So, we're seeing a lot more of that today," Optometrist Dr. Nick Feipel says.

To help protect your children's eye sight, doctors suggest following the 20-20-20 rule. After 20 minutes of time spent looking at technology, look 20 feet away from the screen, for at least 20 seconds. 

When it comes to setting screen time limits for children, doctors recommend one to two hours a day. They say children younger than 2 should not be watching -tv or other screens at all.


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