Increased Screen Time for Kids

two parents sitting with two kids looking at a tablet

The ripple effect of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be closely monitored, especially the short-term and long-term effects on children. Children stuck in lockdown have been forced to attend school virtually and forced to limit their outdoor activities.

The time children spend in front of a digital screen has significantly increased with distant e-learning and limits to outdoor playtime. While the exact effects of the pandemic are still unknown, experts said they suspect the dramatic changes to children’s routines are increasingly impacting eyesight. In an August survey of 899 parents, 70% reported that their kids were spending at least four hours a day on electronic devices.

Myopia, also known as near-sightedness or short-sightedness, is increasing significantly in children as a direct result of the pandemic. While genetic and environmental facts contribute to myopia, the research shows that the earlier it starts in childhood, the more likely it is that they will have a more severe refractive error as adults.

JEWELL RADIMISIS JORGE LLP. notes that it is important for parents to closely monitor their children for signs of myopia. Timely detection and treatment are able to slow the progression of myopia. While screen time now may be the safest option for children, its long-term effects remain to be unknown.

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