Danger of blue light exposure for children

Our children's generation has been staring at computer screens since birth. But the blue light from those screens can be dangerous for growing eyes.

Many of us remember a time in our lives when we didn't have cellphones and computers inches from our eyes, but our children's generation has been exposed to these screens since birth.

Unfortunately, staring into LED televisions, computers, tablets and cellphones can be dangerous.

"For children, especially from birth to age three, the crystal lens in their eyes are not fully developed," said optometrist Bridgitte Shen Lee. "So it goes straight through. It causes a lot more damage in children's eyes than it does in adults."

The American Academy of Pediatrics advises limiting children older than 2 years old to a maximum of two hours a day on media devices. Children younger than 2 years old should have no exposure.

Shen Lee agrees with limiting time, but as the mother of two girls, she says there's another helpful tool that everyone should know about.

"What we eye care providers would like to add to that, when the children are on digital devices, whatever that device may be, it's important for them to wear glasses with the coating that blocks the harmful blue light," she said.

For prescription lenses, insurance partially covers the coating as an upgrade, like anti-glare or UV protection. There are also companies like Gunnar that sell glasses to protect from digital eye strain for about $50.


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