Screen Time and Children's Eye Health: Tips for a Balanced Summer

Screen Time and Children's Eye Health: Tips for a Balanced Summer

With the arrival of summer, children often find themselves with more free time to engage in various activities, including increased screen time. While digital devices can offer entertainment and educational opportunities, excessive screen time can have negative effects on children's eye health. As a parent or caregiver, it is crucial to strike a balance and implement strategies that promote healthy vision while still allowing children to enjoy their summer activities. Our optometrists will help you understand the impact of screen time on children's eyes, discuss potential eye health issues, and provide valuable tips for maintaining a balanced approach to screen time during the summer months.

Children’s Eye Health: Strategies For Summer Screen Time

As summer rolls around, children look forward to spending their free time enjoying the great outdoors, engaging in fun activities, and yes, spending more time on their favourite digital devices. While screens can provide valuable learning experiences and entertainment, excessive screen time can potentially harm children's eye health. To ensure a balanced summer, it's important to be aware of the impact of screen time on young eyes and implement strategies to protect their vision.

Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to a range of eye health issues in children. One common concern is digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome. Symptoms of digital eye strain include eye discomfort, dryness, blurred vision, headaches, and neck or shoulder pain. Children who spend hours staring at screens may also be at higher risk of developing myopia (nearsightedness), as studies have shown a correlation between excessive screen time and the onset and progression of myopia in children.

To promote healthy eye habits and maintain a balanced approach to screen time during the summer, here are some essential tips for parents and caregivers:

  1. Establish screen time limits: Set reasonable limits on the amount of time children can spend in front of screens each day. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than 1 hour of high-quality screen time per day for children aged 2 to 5, and consistent limits for older children.
  2. Encourage outdoor activities: Encourage children to engage in outdoor activities and explore nature. Spending time outdoors not only reduces screen time but also helps protect their eyes from the potentially harmful effects of excessive digital device use.
  3. Implement the 20-20-20 rule: Teach children the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away. This simple exercise helps reduce eye strain and allows the eyes to relax and refocus.
  4. Create a screen-free bedtime routine: Avoid screens at least one hour before bedtime to ensure better sleep quality. Blue light emitted by screens can interfere with sleep patterns and affect the overall well-being of children.
  5. Opt for quality content: Encourage children to engage with high-quality, educational content instead of mindless scrolling. Choose age-appropriate apps, games, and websites that provide educational value and limit exposure to excessive advertising.
  6. Promote good posture: Encourage children to maintain good posture while using screens. Remind them to sit at an appropriate distance from the screen, with their back straight and shoulders relaxed.
  7. Schedule regular eye exams: Ensure that children have regular eye exams, especially before the start of the summer. Eye exams can detect any potential vision problems and allow for early intervention.

By following these tips, parents and caregivers can help children strike a balance between screen time and other activities during the summer, promoting healthy vision and overall well-being.

Summer Eye Care For Children At Specs In The City

As the summer season begins, it's important to be mindful of the impact of screen time on children's eye health. By implementing the suggested strategies and encouraging a balanced approach, parents and caregivers can help children enjoy their summer while also protecting their precious eyes. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to screen time. By fostering healthy habits, encouraging outdoor activities, and promoting regular eye care, we can ensure that children have a summer filled with fun, learning, and optimal eye health. Let's make this summer a season of balance and well-being for our children's eyes.

​​A children's eye exam is important to your child’s overall eye health. Common summer eye concerns like digital eye strain and damage from UV radiation are screened for during a children's eye exam. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can prevent long-term visual problems and ensure that children have the visual skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Book your child’s next eye exam with Specs in the City, where our expert optometrists are committed to protecting your child’s vision for a lifetime. Contact us today at 403-252-2020 or through our online contact form.


Q: How does excessive screen time affect children's eye health?
A: Excessive screen time can lead to digital eye strain, dryness, blurred vision, and increased risk of myopia (nearsightedness) in children.

Q: How can parents help protect their children's eyes during summer screen time?
A: Parents can encourage outdoor activities, implement screen time breaks using the 20-20-20 rule, create a screen-free bedtime routine, choose quality content, promote good posture, and schedule regular eye exams for their children.

Q: Can excessive screen time lead to long-term eye health problems in children?
A: Yes, prolonged and excessive screen time during childhood can contribute to the development and progression of myopia, as well as other eye health issues. It is important to establish healthy screen habits early on to minimize the risk of long-term problems.

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