A new study from The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that babies younger than two years old are using smartphones and tablets. Specifically, the study found that more than one-third of babies are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by the time they hit their first birthday, one out of seven toddlers is using digital devices at least one hour a day.
Granted, when they say using mobile devices, we can all rest assured they aren’t illegally downloading music and/or stalking an ex on Facebook. But seriously, with that much screen time at such a young age, what impact are these glowing screens having on their eyes?
The unsettling truth is that from our smartphones to the TV and the computer, (even CFL and LED lighting), we’re surrounded by devices that emit harmful blue light. Research has proven exposure to blue light contributes to serious eye and health conditions, including eye strain, vision loss, and even sleep disruption.
When it comes to children, they are even more at risk of experiencing the harmful effects of blue light. Children and young adults have almost no macular pigment, which acts as the eye’s internal blue light filter. Without that protection, blue light is able to more easily penetrate all the way to the back of the child’s eye, which over time, puts them more at risk for eye disease like macular degeneration.
The best way to protect your child’s eyes, as well as your own vision, is simply to limit your screen time. However, as your children grow older, there is no getting around the fact that today’s world is illuminated more and more by blue light. The good news is there are a variety of lens products that offer protection. From lens coatings that reflect blue light to other lenses that absorb blue light, your eye doctor can recommend the right lens solution for your lifestyle that will help protect your eyes from harmful blue light.