How to Protect Your Children from Digital Eye Strain During Remote Learning

Due to COVID-19, the new school year is beginning with fully remote or hybrid curriculum models in place. It is becoming clear that screen-based instruction will be a reality for many children this semester. 

Even before remote learning, many parents worried about the amount of screen time their children experienced throughout the day. Now, with alternative learning models being the new normal, the negative effects of digital eye strain in children is not something to be taken lightly.

What is Digital Eye Strain?

protect your child from digital eye strain during remote learning

Digital Eye Strain is caused by prolonged use of electronics such as computers, tablets, e-readers, mobile phones, or any other device with a digital display. Many people, including children, can experience vision problems, eye discomfort, and even pain caused by digital eye strain. 

Digital eye strain can present in children in a number of ways, so it is important to keep an eye out for many possible symptoms.

Common Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain in Children:

  • Headaches 
  • Blurry vision
  • Squinting
  • Excessive blinking
  • Dry eyes 
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Tension in neck and shoulders 
  • Burning eyes 

If you are concerned about the negative effects digital eye strain could have on your child’s vision, this guide is for you. Read on to learn some great tips and tricks to help protect your child from digital eye strain during remote learning. 

1. Anti-Reflective Eyeglasses

Anti-reflective glasses – also called AR-coated lenses and anti-glare glasses – improve vision by reducing eye strain caused by glare. Anti-reflective glasses have a protective coating that virtually eliminates reflections from the surfaces of your child’s lenses.

With less reflection, more light passes through their lenses to optimize their ability to see, resulting in less strain on their eyes. Kids benefit most from wearing AR-coated lenses while studying, doing homework, and using any electronic devices. 

At NeoVision Eye Center we offer comprehensive optical services and can help you find the best anti-reflective lenses for your child’s optimal eye health.

2. Take Frequent Breaks

Creating a remote learning routine is a great way for kids to adjust to this new way of schooling. It is important for part of this new daily routine to include breaks from screens – like a recess! 

An ideal at-home learning routine will include no more than two hours of consecutive screen time between breaks. During these breaks, all screens — including mobile phones, televisions, personal computers, e-readers, and tablets — should be powered down.

3. Play the 20-20-20 Game

To ensure your kids aren’t straining their eyes while using digital devices, start practicing – or playing – the 20-20-20 game. Anyone who looks at screens for a prolonged period of time should practice this, but for kids, it can easily be turned into a fun eye-spy game!

After every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, have your child take at least a 20-second pause to “spy” something at least 20 feet away from them. 

4. Set Them Up for Success

Set up a learning space for your child that will help them feel comfortable and decrease the strain on their eyes.

Virtual Learning Space to Promote Eye Health

  • Create sufficient distance between their eyes and the screen.
  • Avoid handheld devices, or get a case that allows them to sit on a desk, hands-free.
  • Encourage good posture that allows them to look down at the screen instead of directly in front of it.
  • Utilize anti-glare/matte screen shields on electronic devices. 
  • Increase the size of the font.

5. Snack Time Foods for Eye Health

A balanced diet and ample water intake are essential to children’s overall health. But certain foods can offer more nutrients that naturally benefit the health of their eyes.

  • Vitamin C: Eating plenty of fruits like oranges, strawberries, and kiwis during snack time can help ensure your child is getting their daily recommended amount of Vitamin C.
  • Lutein: This essential vitamin is found in dark leafy greens like kale and spinach. If you have a picky eater, these greens can easily be blended into a yummy fruit smoothie without being noticed.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Any trail mix that contains cashews, walnuts, or almonds is a great snack time treat packed full of omega-3s. 

6. Schedule an Eye Exam

Our experts at NeoVison Eye Center encourage comprehensive eye exams for children at the beginning of every school year. In addition to making sure your child’s eyes are healthy during these appointments, we can help you spot any signs of computer eye strain, and provide personalized care to reduce the risks. 

Help Your Children Avoid Digital Eye Strain During Remote Learning

For children and adults alike, maintaining the health of your eyes in an increasingly digital world is important. At Neovision Eye Center we take pride in offering our Union City patients the highest quality care and want to ensure the ocular health of your child for years to come! 

Make sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam at NeoVision Eye Center, to ensure your child starts the school semester ready for success.