How Long Are Your Kids On Electronics? How To Reduce Digital Eye Restrain #AOA #MC

 “I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for the American Optometric Association. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”


I admit our family loves electronics. My husband and I have tablets and so do our three older children. Our children not only use their tablets to play games on but they are great resources in our homeschooling. If it was up to my children they would play their tablets everyday if we allowed them but we set limitations.  Limitations are not just set because I want them doing more active things but because I get concerned about their eyes. What eyes? Yes, The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that parents drastically underestimate the time their children spend on digital devices. It is a good idea to either tell your child they have X amount of minutes to be on their electronic devices or set a timer and once that timer goes off it’s time for them to turn off their device. 


kids playing tablets


Survey reports by the AOA shows that 83% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 estimate they use an electronic device for three or more hours each day plus a separate AOA survey was taken of parents that revealed only 40% of parents believe their children use an electronic device for that same amount of time while most parents believe the time their kids spend using technology is far less than what it is. 


With all the technology 80% of children surveyed report experiencing burning, itchy or tired eyes after using electronic devices for long periods of time.  All of these symptoms of digital eye strain, a temporary vision condition caused by prolonged use of technology. Additional symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.


AOA infographic


  Who would of thought being on electronics could have so many side effects!  To help prevent or reduce eye and vision problems associated with digital eye strain and exposure to blue light, the AOA recommends the following tips:


AOA digital eye restraint tips



Checking the height and position of the device. Computer screens should be four to five inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes. Digital devices should be held a safe distance away from eyes and slightly below eye level.


Check for glare on the screen. Windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of a computer monitor.  Turn the desk or computer to prevent glare on the screen.  Consider adjusting the brightness of the screen on your digital device or changing its background color.


Reducing the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen. A lower-wattage light can be substituted for a bright overhead light or a dimmer switch may be installed to give flexible control of room lighting.


Adjusting font size. Increase the size of text on the screen of the device to make it easier on your eyes when reading.


Keep blinking. Frequent blinking reduces the chances for developing dry eye by keeping the front surface of the eye moist.


My eyes starting giving me trouble recently so I went to the eye doctor and his advice was basically the same tips as above. Knowing how frequently I am on the computer he pieced together it was all electronic related so not only am I taking the steps to reduce my digital eye restraint but I am using the same tips for my children as well!  What about your children, how long are they on their electronics?


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 “I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for the American Optometric Association. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.”


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  1. You know, I hadn’t thought about this with my kids, but I need to! Thanks for bringing this issue to my attention!

  2. This is something that we struggle with because our son loves his iPad. Right now, we are limiting him to 15 minutes a day.

  3. These are great tips. I’m going to share this with my sister. My niece and nephew are on their various devices all the time.

  4. These are great tips. I require my boys to take breaks from electronics too.

  5. What great tips! We struggle with this everyday too!

  6. I never thought of this, but it makes sense that all of the technology that our kids use would take a toll on their eyes. Something I should keep a check on (for them and myself)!

  7. Luckily my daughter doesn’t spent too much time on the electronics. It’s ME that I need to worry about because I’m on the computer working all day!

  8. I can see how easy it is for our children, and us to get burnt out. My kids like to watch Youtube from my phone, and computer, but at times I have to make them stop so they can get a break.

    Great info!

  9. Jenna Wood says:

    That’s a really cool tip I’ll use myself, I never knew the 20 feet rule, but it makes sense to refocus our eyes ever now and then. I always make my niece get up and play with the dog every hour to help her stay active when on electronics, too.

  10. Great tips! I need to remember this for myself and hubby, too!!!

  11. I didn’t realize any of this- what an important topic considering how often our kids are on electronics!

  12. I notice that my eyes get dry and out-of-focus after being on the computer for a while. That’s why I rarely read ebooks; my eyes get mad at me!

  13. great tips. I like the 20-20-20 rule!

  14. Our family is a tech family and my son spends a lot of time on his devices. We are going to the eye doctor for a back to school check up and will have to talk to her about it!

  15. No kids but I make sure that I get up from the computer once an hour and do something else.

  16. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Great tips and infographic. I make sure to blink a lot when I am on the computer. I find it really does help with eye strain.

  17. These are great tips that I definitely need to start practicing myself.

  18. That 20-20-20 tip is so helpful! I’m on the computer a lot for blogging, so even I need that tip!!

  19. Thanks for the tips. During the school year they are on their electronics a lot less.

  20. Rebecca Swenor says:

    These are great tips to reduce digital eye strain. I could even use these tips not just for the kids. Thanks for sharing.

  21. I totally agree about taking breaks and limiting usage. I find that it is a double sword though because society, businesses and schools are relying on technology more and more. It is difficult to balance I think.

  22. Thank you for these tips, I am on the computer WAY too long and I needed these tips to be reminded. Additionally, during the summer my kids tend to be on their tablets way too long as well, so this serve as a reminder to sent them outside more often and use their tables less on a daily basis. Thank you again for sharing and bringing this subject to my attention again.

  23. These are really good tips. My daughter has increased her use of the ipad lately and it drives me crazy. I am going to keep these in mind next time she picks it up to play.

  24. John Lopez says:

    Some great tips, thanks for reminding me about this.

  25. Paula Parker says:

    Great info and safety tips. I need to be more aware for myself too. Thanks for the article.

  26. So important to recognise potential issues early on, and some great tips to pass on to the children.

  27. Good safety tips , thanks for sharing! My kids love their IPods but we do limit the amount of time they can use them.;)

  28. Deborah Gardner says:

    This is a great reminder because the whole family enjoys being online!!

  29. RICHARD HICKS says:

    I like the tips. It does seem like we are all glued to electronic devices now days.

  30. My cousins who are all kids are spending most of their “free time” playing computer games and also browsing through social media pages. Yup, technology these days is too time-consuming. It has a lot of negative effects as well.

  31. My kids love their electronics so thank you so much for these tips, I’ll be using them!

  32. Great tips and reminders. Kids would stay on electronic devices all the time f they could. But parents need to monitor that and help them cut back and rest.

  33. My daughter is not allowed to use gadgets on a school day and on weekends her gadget is also limited.

  34. I often have to pry my oldest away from his electronics. He just doesn’t realize how bad it is for his eyes. They will be bloodshot from him playing so much!

  35. Sharon Wong says:

    Nice tips! I should probably follow some of them cause I’m on the computer all the time.

  36. This is a great post, especially with homework now being required on the computer more and more. Seems like electronic time does nothing but increase for all of us.

  37. It is also applicable to the young adults or even adults.

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