School vacation breaks often lead children to spend several hours a day on activities they normally do not do.
Whether they are outside or in front of different types of screens, it is important to take care of their eye health by following these recommendations:
- Try to avoid having children spend more than two hours a day in front of screens such as televisions, tablets, and smartphones or video game consoles. This is the amount of time recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which also states that a longer period of time, “…reduces children’s attention span and their language development.”
- Establish set breaks during this time so that their eyes rest. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes take a minimum 20-second break, changing the child’s gaze to a point that is 20 feet (6 meters) away from them.
- The minimum distance from a 32-inch television should be 6.5 feet (2 meters). The larger the screen, the further they should be from it. The ideal distance from a computer screen is 1.5 feet (50 cm).
- When possible, encourage children to engage in outdoor activities that keep them active. These types of actions and environments significantly contribute to the development of their motor and psychosocial skills.
- While getting sun is important to their physical and visual health, direct exposure and overexposure to the sun’s rays can be harmful. It is therefore crucial to protect children with sunscreen and sunglasses with UV protection (for those that use prescription glasses).
See also: Vacation for your health