In today’s digital era, it is undeniable that school-aged children are constantly surrounded by gadgets. With educational institutions integrating technology into the learning process, students’ academic work heavily relies on electronic devices.
Additionally, children spend a significant part of their leisure time engaged in various screen activities like streaming and gaming. Overall, this has resulted in screentime among school-aged kids rising by 52% over the last few years, as per a recent JAMA study.
This overexposure has raised concerns, given that these screens are known to emit blue light, which can have detrimental effects on children’s health and well-being.
How blue light affects children
One of the foremost concerns associated with children is its impact on sleep patterns. The use of gadgets before sleeping exposes kids to unnecessary blue light which suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone integral to regulating sleep-wake cycles, making it more difficult for children to fall asleep.
Consequently, insufficient sleep can result in fatigue, decreased cognitive performance, and impaired learning abilities. It also poses an increased risk of developing sleep disorders such as insomnia in the long run.
Additionally, children’s eyes are still developing and thus are more susceptible to the potential harm caused by excessive blue light exposure. Continuous exposure to blue light emitted from electronic devices can contribute to eye strain, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches.
Furthermore, such exposure may accelerate the development and progression of myopia (nearsightedness) in children, potentially leading to lifelong vision problems if not addressed.
Prolonged exposure to blue light is also associated with negative effects on children’s behavioral and mental health. A study by John Carroll University discusses the correlation between excessive blue light exposure and an increased risk of developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms.
Children who regularly use electronic devices at night are more prone to disrupted sleep and are at a higher risk of experiencing mood disorders such as depression and anxiety in later years.
Ways parents can address blue light exposure
Limit overall screen time
Establishing screen time limits can be done by setting clear rules and boundaries within the household. Parents can encourage evenings to be screen-free windows, allowing children to wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Another approach to limiting screen time and reducing blue light exposure is by promoting alternative activities. Encouraging children to engage in outdoor play, practicing arts and crafts, or participating in family activities like board games or reading can help shift their focus away from screens.
Introduce blue light glasses
An advantage of blue light glasses is that they offer protection against potential long-term damage to children’s eyes. By wearing blue light glasses from an early age, children can reduce their risk of developing eye complications later in life.
Case in point, blue light glasses is equipped with technology like Crizal Prevencia, which is designed to selectively block blue-violet light wavelengths while still allowing beneficial light to pass through.
As such, the eyes are not at risk of straining or retinal damage while still enjoying full visual acuity, which is integral to children’s learning. On top of this, blue light glasses can also offer other features that may be beneficial to children, such as UV protection, anti-glare properties, and scratch resistance to safeguard their overall vision.
Install screen filters
Blue light screen protectors offer a simple yet effective solution to mitigate the potential harm caused by excessive exposure to blue light by reducing the intensity of the blue light emitted. These are best used in tandem with the aforementioned glasses since blue light can come from multiple sources.
Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, there is a suitable screen protector available. For example, the VizoBlueX Anti-Blue Light Filter comes in various styles and formats, making it accessible and adaptable to different devices.
Furthermore, blue light screen protectors are easy to install and maintain, with most models providing a hassle-free application process and minimal cleaning requirements.
This simplicity ensures parents and educators can effortlessly incorporate blue light protection into their children’s digital routines.