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How to Protect Children’s Eyes During Remote Learning

By: Deborah Schwartz, MD, Chester Pediatrics (Whiteplains, NY)

With the start of school and remote learning, we have been hearing many complaints from our patients about eye strain. In response to this, we have compiled tips on easing eye strain.

TAKE A BREAK

Rules of  20

  • Every 20 minutes of computer screen time, look away from the screen for 20 seconds to a distance 20 feet away.

COMPUTER  PLACEMENT

Place the screen either at eye level or below eye level. Looking up at the screen will tend to strain your eyes.

Place the computer on a hard surface. To avoid neck and back strain, sit upright in a chair with a back.

When the screen is too close to the child’s face, the eyes turn in to focus on the screen versus being in a  relaxed position. This can cause fatigue of the eye muscles that can lead to headaches. Place the computer at least 16-24 inches away.

LIGHTING MATTERS

Do not place the computer in front of a window. Looking into the screen with the sun behind the computer will cause a strain.

Avoid glare by changing computer brightness.

There are no studies that show that blue light blocking glasses are effective in reducing eye strain and fatigue.

EYE HEALTH

When your child is reading on a digital device the blink rate tends to decrease. This can lead to dry eyes. Over-the-counter artificial tears may be used as needed. Do not share eye drop bottles. Single-use vial may be more convenient.

WATCH FOR  SIGNS

If your child continues to complain of symptoms of headaches, blurred vision, eyestrain, or neck pain, please call your Pediatrician or an Opthomologist. Annual screenings are essential to maintain their ocular health.

 

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