AAP News 11 November 2014
A growing children’s health concern could literally be staring you in the face.
Youths can suffer from eyestrain caused by using digital screens to do homework, read or play games. Symptoms include dry or red eyes, blurred vision, light sensitivity, headache and neck pain.
As children today become more “plugged in,” the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents to keep an eye on their children’s vision.
One study found that children may be at greater risk for symptoms of eyestrain than grown-ups because many computer workspaces are arranged to serve adults. The best viewing height for a computer screen is 15 degrees below the line of vision. While adults look slightly down at a computer, a child who is shorter has to look up at an uncomfortable angle. In addition, a child can strain his or her neck and back when using a keyboard or chair that has been positioned for an adult.
Many children also play video games for hours on end and ignore eye discomfort, which can worsen symptoms.