OMH Exclusive For Children’s Day: Experts Speak On Combating Screen Fatigue In Children

This Children's Day, OnlyMyHealth has brought you an outstanding article by four experts, who are discussing the impact of screen fatigue.

Tavishi Dogra
Written by: Tavishi DograUpdated at: Nov 15, 2020 12:16 IST
OMH Exclusive For Children’s Day: Experts Speak On Combating Screen Fatigue In Children

Children's Day 2020: Nowadays, children are 24*7 glued to their phones due to their online classes! The schooling has shifted from schools to each and everyone's home because of the pandemic. In such a situation, the concept of online courses is the only option left. But this has suddenly led to an increased screen-time, which can be a risk factor in the progression and development of nearsightedness. This online education has helped children in the epidemic, but excessive use of screen gadgets is affecting their eyes too. Whether your child is watching videos, playing games or reading on their devices, spending so much time on electronic devices limits children's physical activity. It further results in developmental problems which may affect the child later in life. To understand the screen fatigue and its impact on the physical and mental state of children, this children's day, OnlyMyHealth would like to share a gift to all the parents. OnlyMyHealth, in collaboration with Audible, organized a panel discussion, in which our 4 experts are telling how to combat this situation and get rid of screen fatigue. OnlyMyHealth's Vani Malik took to the platform to discuss with Roopa Pai, India's best-known children's author, Rashmi Wadhwa, a leading psychologist, Dr Rahil Chaudhary ophthalmologist, Eye Surgeon at Eye7 Eye Centre and Ritcha Verma, a mommy blogger and a corp comm specialist.

What is eye fatigue is and how these gadgets affect children's eyes?

Dr Rahil explains that "eye fatigue in layman's word is something called computer vision syndrome. The computer vision syndrome has been there since the introduction of the screen, but now in the pandemic, we're glued virtually, on-screen all the time. This has become a widespread problem these days so basically what happens is that when you're working long hours on the screen, your eye tends to blink less. You're focusing on a near object, so your eyes muscles have to converge to a close item. Now what happens is that again when you work on longer hours you feel tired, and your eye tends to feel drowsy, you feel like closing your eyes, feel like lying down and not focusing too much on screen." 

On-screen affect brain development

How does spending more time on-screen affect brain development?

Psychologist Rashmi Wadhwa said that spending too much time on mobiles and laptops is not only harmful to the eyes, but also for the brain. When the child is developing, his/her mind continues to grow until the age of 10 years. In such a situation, if the child is spending most of the time on-screen gadgets, playing mobile games, watching videos, then many abilities of his/her brain remain undeveloped (which harms their lateral life).

Also Read: Importance Of Hand Hygiene At Home And School

Know-why screen time regulation is necessary in pandemic times

Blogger Ritcha Verma says that regulation is essential to reduce the screen time of children. The most important is to curb the use of TV and mobile. It would be best if you gave the children to use the gadget for only as long as they need it. In addition to classes, you can set their screen to auto-lock mode (to be used for devices at rest), which will automatically turn off the net after a particular time.

Also Read: 7 Safe and Natural Teething Remedies For Baby’s First Tooth


Can audiobooks reduce screen time? Famous author Roopa Pai explains the reason behind this

Roopa Pai, children's author, says that not every child's mind is engaged in reading the books and text. Hence, audiobooks are an excellent alternative for kids who want to acquire knowledge but don't like reading books. The author explains that the main objective is to convey knowledge to kids. Psychologist Rashmi Wadhwa also suggested that academic books should be converted into audiobooks, as it will help them learn, and perhaps the children's eyes will also be relaxed.

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How has screen fatigue become a reason for various problems in children?

On this, Dr Rahil replied, "I would you like list out particular a problem that kids can face, and that may be the case that you are getting these days more because of the extended screen usage in children. The developing age (up to the age of 8-10 years) the eye checkup should be done every year so that if there is any problem in their vision, it can be diagnosed." Dr Rahil further added that TV is not harmful to the eyes if viewed from a distance of 3-4 meters.

Also Read: Not Just COVID-19, A Face Mask Can Safeguard Lungs From Various Illnesses

Dr Chaudhary shares some tips to get rid of eye fatigue

  • When you're working too many hours on the screen, you need to follow a 20-20-20 regiment. So what happens is that after every 20-30 min take a break look at a distance about 20 feet distance and blink your eyes 20 times.
  • Lubricating drops are very readily available in the market; some of the best brands are systane ultra, fresh tears. You should use these drops 3-4 times probably in 2-3 hours if you're working for longer hours. 

Parenting Tip: Do not allow children to use laptops or mobiles for more than 1-2 hours at the child's developmental age (less than eight years). 

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