I was born in the 70s and as a child of the 80s, of COURSE I didn’t use technology; nor, would my parents have let me. They had the “get outside and come back-in when the sun sets” philosophy on child rearing. My childhood was vividly colored with creeks, fields, and frogs…it was truly dreamy.
The blue light I was exposed to was the beneficial daylight sun – proven to improve reaction and attention times, as well as mood.
Fast forward a few decades later and we are all exposed to MUCH more blue light – smartphones, notebooks, computers, flat-screen TVs, fluorescent & LED lighting. EEK! This unnatural increase in blue light:
- suppresses the release of melatonin and this can DEFINITELY decrease your chances for a quality sleep (very important for children and teens!)
- may increase the risk of macular degeneration, and more quickly. We are guinea pigs with this one as no generation before has been exposed to this much blue light
- can cause eye strain
Besides little tricks like turning your devices on Night Shift, limiting screen time before bed and setting timers to alternate your gaze from short distance to long; a big shift in our house has been the use of blue light blocking glasses.
Glasses can be FUN! You can find a wide-variety of these on Amazon ranging in quality and pricing; but for my kids I went to our local eye doctor. Many times kids are only vision checked in their pediatrician’s office or school. Going to an eye clinic is much more thorough as they check the complete health of the eye (which can be windows not only into the soul, but the health of the rest of the body.)
During their exams we were able to discuss screen times with the kids and figure out the best “fit” in terms of lenses. Neither of my kids “need” glasses to see, but they were able to fit them for their tech time. The rule in our house; no glasses, no tech. It’s pretty simple and they think they look smart in them anyway!
If you live in my area I’d highly recommend Dr. Micki Flynn, OD. She’s not only great with kids, but is knowledgeable on this topic. christensonvisioncare.com
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