There has been an increasing amount of research on the effects of digital devices on children’s overall development and in particularly their effects upon the visual system and its development.
A joint position paper from the Canadian Association of Optometrists and the Canadian Ophthalmological Society (November 2017) recently came out with for recommendations for digital use by children based upon the evidence in these studies.
Recommended screen time for children:
- Birth to 2 years: None, with the possible exception of live video chatting.
- 2 to 5 years: No more than 1 hour per day. Programming should be age appropriate, educational, high quality and co-viewed with a parent.
- 5 to 18 years: Ideally no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen time. The time they are exposed may be in-excess of this recommended time due to multiple devices that children are exposed to throughout the day both at school and home.
It is important to follow these guidelines, and the other recommendations for digital use. Ask Dr. Penny or Cornelson if you have any questions on the impact of devices on your child’s visual development.