Talkin’ Blue Light + Kids

It’s back-to-school season. That means more time in front of devices for kids in school and out. Though blue light exposure remains a controversial topic, it is important nonetheless to address possible problems to families in your practice. To help, here are several informational tidbits to assist staff in better addressing the possible harm that exposure to blue light can pose. These informational tidbits are also good fodder for social media posts that target parents in your practice.

Tip: Safety + protection. That’s a winning formula, and one to remember as your young patients head back to school.

4.5 hoursthe time kids ages 8-12 say they spend on digital devices every day.

USAGE. Not my kids, say parents? Research reports that teens spend more than 6.5 hours a day on digital devices, while kids ages 8-12 are on those devices at least 4.5 hours a day.  Source: Common Sense Media

 

GOOD/BAD. Either way you look at it — good for care opportunities/bad for increased patient problems — VSP optometrists report a whopping 38% rise in symptoms among kids seen in their practices. Source: VSP

 

DEFINITELY BAD. Though 78.3% of parents say they’re concerned about the impact of digital devices on their children, less than a third (29.1%) take those kids for back-to-school annual exams. Source: The Vision Council 2017 Digital Eye Strain Report.

 

ZZZZZzzz. Eight out of ten Americans use digital devices within an hour of going to bed despite findings that this increases alertness and, therefore, disrupts sleep patterns. No wonder so many kids start their school day already tired. Source: The Vision Council 2017 Digital Eye Strain Report.

 

YOUNGEST KIDS. Explain to families that before age 10, kids’ eyes aren’t completely developed, so that the crystalline lens and cornea remain mostly transparent. Too much blue light may, therefore, be an issue. Use that as a way to encourage parents to supervise and limit the amount of screen time. Source: Kaiser family Foundation

 

PROBLEM/SOLUTION.  At the very least, most researchers agree blue-light exposure can cause eyestrain and discomfort among school-age kids. That’s why products like Shamir’s Blue Zero™ for kids are so important. The lenses are now available in polycarbonate.

 

Safety + protection. That’s a winning formula, and one to remember as your young patients head back to school.

 

Do you address possible problems associated with childhood over-exposure to blue light? If so, tell us what you say to parents and share in the conversation on Facebook here.

Erinn Morgan