First at Four: Protect your child's eyesight this school year

First at Four: Protect your child's eyesight this school year

One in three children will use a school-issued tablet or laptop this year.

They can be great for your child's education, but bad for their eyesight.

According to MyEyeDr., a vision care company, excessive use of devices can actually lead to long-term damage in vision and performance.

Dr. Rasika Whitesell from MyEyeDr. on Oleander Drive in Wilmington shared advice on how to protect your child's vision on WECT News First at Four Monday.

Here's what she said parents need to know:

  1. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Look away from the screen at an object on the wall -- 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This breaks up screen time and allows for regular blinking.
  2. Pay attention to posture: Children should position devices at least 20 inches from their faces to decrease eye strain. They should also position the screen slightly downward to decrease tension on the neck and back.
  3. Go shopping: Invest in the right lenses to correct vision and ensure academic performance.
  4. Take a hike: According to the Vision Council, children who play outside regularly are 23 percent less likely to develop myopia, or nearsightedness. Parents can even consider this a reward for children who have learned how best to manage their digital device usage.

Dr. Whitesell also recommends that you schedule a yearly eye check up with your optometrist.

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