Thanks to HCF

With time spent in lockdown, home-schooling, and less opportunity to get outside, our children have been staring at screens even more than usual — and are facing potential eye issues as a result.

When her daughter Lizzie started high school in 2020, Wenying Han noticed a dramatic increase in her screen time. “Primary school was more outdoors — lots of running around on the grass. High school was different. Lizzie had to take a laptop and she got a phone to stay in touch with friends.”

With a history of myopia (short-sightedness) herself, Wenying was conscious of wanting her daughter to stay away from screens where possible, but admits she had to be realistic. “I didn’t want to be too harsh. She’s a teenager. They use their phones to connect with each other.”

Instilling healthy habits in kids around screens is tough for parents and carers at the best of times. Throw a pandemic into the mix, and setting boundaries around screen time for our young ones becomes even trickier.

But research shows an increase in myopia among children since the pandemic began, and experts are wondering if screens are to blame. One study has revealed an almost 400% increase in six-year-olds with myopia symptoms during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

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