By our Smarty friends at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates
Technology is everywhere. Children are spending more time than ever on various devices at school and at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. In addition, 3D movies and television are rapidly becoming popular.
We wanted to ask a pediatric ophthalmologist if the increased exposure to today’s technology has an impact on your child’s eyes. Dr. Taressa Haney of Charlotte Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Associates, PA says, “Currently, there is no scientific evidence that suggests electronic devices cause damage to a child’s eyes or developing visual system.”
In regards to exposure to 3D movies and television, the American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) states that, “Nintendo and other large electronics makers have recently posted warnings advising that parents should limit the amount of time children under six years of age spend playing the new generation of 3D video games. There is no published scientific data that shows or even suggests that play on such video games causes damage to the developing visual system.” AAPOS also has a policy statement that says, “There is no published scientific data that shows that use of computers, phones, or video screens increases the incidence of focusing, convergence problems or causes damage to the developing visual system, however, there are many reasons why children should limit screen time.”
“Studies have shown that increased screen time can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. For these reasons, AAPOS and AAP discourage media use by children younger than two years of age and suggest that total screen time should not exceed more than two hours a day for older children. Children should be encouraged to engage in interactive and outdoor play,” says Dr. Haney.
With school out of session, the summer is a great time for swimming, outdoor play, arts and crafts, reading, and spending time together as a family. A summer project could be to create a “screen-free” zone in the house by not allowing a television, computer or video game in your child’s bedroom and/or playroom and having a designated time of no more than two hours for TV or video games during the day.
Enjoy the summer and don’t forget to schedule your child’s eye exam before school starts. Please call Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates for an appointment with one of our four fellowship-trained pediatric ophthalmologists located in SouthPark, Matthews, Blakeney, Belmont, University, Huntersville, and Statesville. Call 704-295-3000 or visit us at goodsenses.com.