Is technology harming kids’ eyes and ears? Two simple rules to avoid damage

Posted at 5:26 AM, Nov 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-01 05:26:19-04

On average, children eight and younger spend about two-and-a-quarter hours per day on their smartphones, tablets, computers or television, which can cause young eyes and ears to be harmed.

Consumer reports has what you need to know for safer screen time and audio levels.

Eye doctors are now seeing marked increases in dry eye, nearsightedness and other eye conditions in children. When looking at the screens to devices closely, eyes can shift focus and over time, that can cause the eyeball to lengthen, causing worse nearsightedness.

New research suggests that the blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, televisions and computers can, over time, damage the thin layer at the back of the eye that contains light-sensitive cells, called the retina.

Experts believe that children’s eyes need regular breaks from technology, which is why they suggest the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, kids should look out a window or at an object that is at least 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

It’s not only the eyes than can be damaged starting at such a young age. When it comes to hearing, audiologist are concerned that the continuous use of headphones at an unsafe volume level may lead to an increase in problems in not only children, but teens as well.

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

According to experts, it’s recommended that if you hear the music coming from your kids’ headphones, it’s too loud. Also, if you are talking and your child can’t hear you through their headphones, the music is too loud.

When it comes to safety, experts suggest the 80-90 rule. Children shouldn’t listen to music at 80 percent of the volume on their devices for more than 90 minutes a day.

Click here to learn more information on how to keep your kids’ safe.