Kids and their gadgets: A step too far? Guest Blog
Kids and their gadgets: A step too far? Guest blog by Lenstore
Today, children are surrounded by technology. Games consoles, laptops, tablets and interactive TVs are all commonly used by children, whether it’s for learning at school, homework or for surfing the net and playing games. While we all accept that we live in a digital age where apparently we spend more time tweeting and sharing than actually sleeping, have we gone too far in exposing young children to technology?
Lenstore, an online contact lens retailer, have conducted a survey into children’s digital device use and its effects on eyesight. Sarah from Lenstore has contributed some of the main findings from the survey to highlight some of parents’ main concerns in this digital age. A survey of 2,000 parents across the UK found that the average child spends an astonishing 7.9 hours per day using digital devices. This includes watching TV, using a laptop, tablet or computer for learning, games consoles, mobile phones, MP3 players and even E-readers. In total, around a quarter of the typical child’s time is spent watching TV! Stuck to the screen
On the whole, a lot of the parents quizzed for the survey felt that close to eight hours a day using digital devices was far too much for their kids. The majority said that anywhere between one and two hours was acceptable, while 44% said they believed that their kids spent far too much time on using devices, irrespective of their purpose. While digital devices are very important for learning and communication, extensive use could cause damage to young eyes later on in life. As many as 30% of those polled said that eye strain was an issue they worried about whenever their kids started using a digital device. This also raises questions about whether parents should intervene, limiting use of digital devices and encouraging children to do other things in their spare time (which doesn’t involve pushing buttons or swiping a screen). These days, it seems that kids learn how to use devices, such as a tablet, before other skills such as telling the time, swimming and even basics such as learning the alphabet and times tables. While many parents are all for allowing their kids to use digital devices in a variety of ways for education and fun, excessive use is certainly raising concerns amongst many parents. Allowing children limited use of digital devices might be the best plan of action for many parents, as this could go some way prevent against damaging health problems, such as vision issues, as well as encouraging them to engage in other activities. Doctor Rob Hogan, a registered Optometrist for over 33 years has offered a few handy tips to ensure our children’s eyes are kept healthy and safe when using digital devices, check them out here.