Here are 9 tips to help monitor your child’s screen time.
- Lead By Example
Consider reducing your own screen time around your children as an example.
- Use a Clock or Timer
Look away from the screen or near task every 20 minutes. For smart phones, you can set an ‘app timer’ to limit use by time.
Try to abide by the 20:20:20 rule – For every 20 minutes, look at something 20 metres away, for 20 seconds.
- Ensure Good Posture
The device should be no closer than the distance to your elbow. Posture and working distance are so important as children grow, as excessive and close working distance can cause severe eye coordination problems.
- Take Care in Cars
Limit screen use in cars as the constant movement requires greater concentration and may cause eye spasms. Instead, use this opportunity to look far, play games and enjoy your surroundings.Change Focus
When reading, encourage your child to look up and away as they turn the page.
- Take a Break
When using screens, have a 10 minute physical break every hour. Stand up and stretch, drink a glass of water, take a bathroom break, etc.
- Consider Lighting
Aim to match the screen brightness to the environment as glare or a mis-match in surrounding brightness can create eye strain.
Create a distraction that causes your child to look up every now and then. Interrupt them with (healthy) snacks/fruit occasionally.
- 1:1 ratio of screen time to outdoor play
For example, make it a rule that for every 30 minutes of recreational screen use, your child needs to have 30 minutes of outdoor play.
- Stop screen use an hour before bed time
Studies show that screen use just before bed can reduce ability to fall asleep and staying asleep.
These are only a few ideas to help keep your child’s vision healthy. If you have your own methods, please don’t hesitate to share them with us via email!