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Spending many hours on electronic devices and little time outdoors can be a dangerous combination for your child
Perhaps most of us remember that when we were children, our parents insisted on keeping us away from the television and not watching our favorite shows near to the screen. As much as this request bothered us, and although we did not understand why, the truth is that they were right because this is one of the main causes of visual problems in children.
Leer en español: Videojuegos: un posible peligro para la salud ocular de tu hijo
If that was years ago, you could imagine the danger children run now, where outdoor activities have been reduced, and children spend more time on electronic devices, whether televisions, tablets or cell phones. According to FAROS, a project to promote and protect children's health in Spain, there is no certainty about the origin of vision problems in children, although it is estimated that it is a mixture of genetic and environmental factors.
However, it can be said that most of the problems, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism in the population, begin as children, almost always under 7 years of age.
Usually, these problems are detected in school, because it is where children spend long hours a day and certain behaviors can allow teachers to notice if something is bothering or failing in sight. However, at home, there are also some clues so dads can realize some vision problem.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the detection of these problems together with early treatment can be extremely positive to prevent the development of these diseases in the future. For this, the main suggestion is that the children have their first examination at three years of age.
These are some of the clues, according to Faros, with which we must be careful, although they are not necessarily decisive:
1. He sits very close to the TV
2. He has constant headaches and tired eyes
3. Stick your face to the paper when you paint and write
4. Has difficulty reading from afar
5. Must squint to see something in the distance
6. He begins to lose interest in reading and other studies because of the effort he must make
7. Their movements are clumsy, especially when running
A study by the Alain Afflelou Foundation determined that video games cause 30% of the eye-related problems in children is due to the excessive use of electronic devices, especially video games. Besides, this addiction to video games also causes problems with "the interaction with the environment, lighting, reflexes, and system of the nervous system," according to an interview with the optometrist Elvira Jiménez, of Europa Press. The interviewee affirms that, although the use of these devices should not be restricted entirely, they should be regulated.
Here are some tips you can use in your children to avoid the development of visual problems, especially when it comes to the use of electronic devices:
1. Medical check-ups: from the age of three, it is crucial that you periodically perform visual exams. Especially if you have any of the possible symptoms mentioned above.
2. The use of video games or electronic devices should not be done in more than 30 or 40 minutes; then the ideal is to rest at least 20 minutes.
3. For your child to play quietly, remember that ocular lubrication is important, so blinking constantly can help your eyes rest. Even the use of drops eventually can also be useful.
4. In case your child's eyes are drying out easily, you can use glasses that only help to rest the eyes, with "filters specially created for the use of digital screens, which absorb the toxic wavelengths, increasing the contrast and facilitating vision," according to the Todo Papás portal.
5. The most important thing is to keep your children constantly in outdoor activities. It has been proven, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, that spending an hour or two a day outdoors can help prevent the development of these diseases.
LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez
Translated from "Videojuegos: un posible peligro para la salud ocular de tu hijo"