NewsBack To School


Protecting kids eye care during distance learning

Posted at 8:08 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 11:08:19-04

BAKERSFIELD, CA. — In March, the Pew Research Center surveyed over 3,000 parents with kids under the age of 12.

71% of parents said they were concerned their kids were spending too much screen time.

“Think of your eye as a trampoline and these bars hold the trampoline in place that's like the lens in your eye that can expand and retract," said Dr. Sandeep Wallia. "If they're always expanded it will create spasms for you and make it hard to relax or focus on something far away."

As schools continue with distance learning - screen time will become a bigger part of kids lives.

A local ophthalmologist says there are some minor adaptations you can make to preserve your child's eye care.

“Keeping an arms distance and giving yourself a break so you're not always flexing the repetitive muscle and putting it in the state of constant exercise," said Dr. Sandeep Wallia.

He also recommends making sure your kids eyes aren’t drying up from the constant screen time.

“Eye drops, eye lubricant, that goes a long way," said Dr. Sandeep Wallia.

Data from the American Optometric Association reported last year that Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, has gone up for children at least 25% in the last 40 years.

“There's a lot of studies on that," said Dr. Sandeep Wallia. "I'ts more genetic than inherited so if mom or dad has glasses congrats odds are you are gonna wear glasses."

Some families constantly using screen time have adopted blue light glasses which are considered safe for any age.

“Blue light will not cause tissue damage but it will change your sleep cycle, hormone balance, and brain chemistry," said Dr.Sandeep Wallia.

And if your child is having a hard time communicating their eye struggles, there are a couple things you can look out for as a parent.

“See if they're squinting or blinking extra hard or are they leaning close to the tv," said Dr. Sandeep Wallia.