Should I Limit My Child’s Screen Time?

Posted on October 16, 2017

Should I Limit My Child’s Screen Time?
By: Jeffrey Colburn, MD

This is a frequent question we hear from concerned parents. At this point, there is not strong evidence that extended electronic device usage will harm a child’s eyes. You will see discussions on line about “Computer Vision Syndrome”, which might include eye dryness, temporary blurry vision, eye strain, and headaches. Again, none of this will likely end up in serious eye damage, particularly for children. There is some concern that the additional intense “near work” on electronic devices at close distances will lead to more common and more severe near-sightedness. We may very well have more research available to us in the coming years that highlights greater concerns with electronic devices with kids. At this point, my answer to parents is that there are many good reasons to limit their children’s time spent on devices and get them outside playing. But we can’t say with certainty that they will actually harm the eyes. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics has released updated guidelines on this topic and I would encourage anyone interested to check those out.