September 21, 2020
Online learning has its challenges. It seems like with this pandemic we’ve all been glued to screens more than ever. But a lot of parents are especially concerned about how much time their kids are spending online. Let’s face it, even PE is online this year for many children.
One of our Spreading Sunshine supporters, Laura Skelton, is an Optometrist at Oman Eye Care. She recently shared some fantastic tips for eye health. And they were so good that I asked if I could share them with you!
1. Adjust Your Screen
When setting up your workstation, the screen should be as far away as possible. Arm’s length or beyond is a good general rule. The height of the screen should be at or slightly below eye level (not above).
Don’t forget that you can adjust the screen brightness. Brightness should match that of the room. Students should not be sitting in a dark room with a bright screen or vice versa. Also, avoid having a lamp shining on the screen or a window directly behind, as it will glare back into the eyes.
If the device your child is on has an option to lower the blue light (night mode), I would do that. “Blue light glasses” will not hurt anything, but they are not necessary and do not correct any prescription your child needs.
2. Change Up Locations
If you have a special like PE, music, etc., see if you can get the lesson on your tv instead of the tablet or computer. This allows more space to move and gives a change of scenery for the kids!
3. The 20/20/20 Rule
At least every 20 minutes, have your child look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Our eyes need breaks and don’t do well with very extended periods of near viewing without a break. This is the most important tip.
4. Remind Them to Blink
Did you know our blink rate goes down automatically about 60% every time we are on a device? You have to remind your children to blink!
5. Get Professional Help
Remember, if your child is experiencing symptoms like headaches, blurry vision, dizziness, make sure to schedule an annual eye exam. If they are farsighted or have astigmatism and are not corrected for this, it will just add additional strain. They should get prescription glasses with anti-glare coating on them if the doctor recommends.