How to Manage Your Child's Screen Time

Take control of your child’s vision and daily screen habits early on to help prevent myopia (nearsightedness) and digital eye strain from forming or progressing. Children with eye fatigue caused by long periods of time spent on digital devices may complain of headaches, tiredness, or eye pain. With intense focus on the task on screen, they may need reminders to take breaks to reset their eyes from close-up focus and blue light exposure. Getting them outside or in another area to play is just one way to ensure they are getting technology-free time in their day.

computer monitor

1. Have your child take frequent screen breaks

After 20 minutes of digital device use, have your child look out the window or at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will allow their eyes to refocus away from the screen.




Every 20 minutes


Look at something 20 feet away


For 20 seconds 


2. Remind your child to maintain a proper distance from digital devices

Whether they’re playing a game or doing homework on a screen, remind them to maintain good posture and keep the device at an arm’s length away and at a slight downward angle. Also, adjust the contrast to set the screen at a comfortable brightness for your child.

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3. Spending time outdoors or playing with a pet or sibling is essential in balancing your child’s day

Balance your child’s screen time by taking your child outside or by playing in another room for a technology-free break. Outdoor time or other play time will force your child’s eyes, neck, and shoulder muscles to relax and reset.

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4. Make sure your child wears their glasses if they need them

If your child has been prescribed glasses, make sure they wear them. Vision is a huge contributor to learning and development and it’s extremely important they wear their glasses, even if it’s a low prescription.

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5. Get information from trusted sources

Your child’s optometrist, pediatrician or family doctor are trusted resources that can inform you on the latest about children’s eye health and computer use. Ask them questions about blue light and screen time during your next visit.

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6. Schedule your child’s annual eye exam

Many children don’t complain about blurred vision because they don’t know what to compare it to. Schedule an annual eye exam for your child so they can be examined by an optometrist.

Help your child practice these healthy eye habits to help them live a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Because vision rapidly develops throughout childhood, it’s important to have your child’s eyes checked regularly so an eye doctor can detect any vision issues your child might be experiencing.

For more eye care tips check out our guide of vision care articles or
consult your Shopko Optical optometrist 

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