Look around, children are using electronic devices more than we could have ever imagined. What happened to the days when kids just played outside? Times have changed and our children spend increasingly more hours in front of a digital device.
- Getting ready for school
- On the way to school
- At School
- On the way home from school
- While watching TV
- At the table in the restaurants
- As they go to bed
It’s a daily cycle of consumption. According the Pearson Student Mobile Device Survey:
In 2015, 53% of elementary school students, 66% of middle school students and 82% of high school students use smartphones regularly. In 2014, these numbers were 44%, 58% and 75%, respectively
These figures are likely not surprising to many, but there is something most people don’t know.
All of this exposure to blue light may have very detrimental effects on our children’s eyes. Research by Wielgus and Roberts suggests that overexposure to blue (400-440nm) light may increase the risk and speed the onset of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This disease that blurs the sharp, central vision you need for “straight-ahead” activities. AMD affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see fine detail.
What can we do to protect our kids? They certainly aren’t going to be able to stop using the iPad or Chromebooks given to them by their schools, and it is unlikely that we can completely cut video streaming out of their entertainment options.
The solution is coming. PupilBox is developing a visual lifestyle solution for children and adolescents, including glasses with specialized-lens that filter the blue harmful blue light emitted by digital devices. This new eyewear will be non-prescription. We may not be able to change digital consumption habits, but we can be proactive in protecting the youth from long-term damage.