I’ve seen many parents feeling proud about their toddlers operating the touch screen of a smartphone, or a 4-year-old kid who is learning new words with some app, or some 10-year-old kid who reads fantasy novels on the iPad.
And they should be, Right? – Well, only if they are being smart about handing over smartphone or tablet to their kids.
The biggest pitfall we tend to ignore in handling a smart device is, that it comes with a bright screen. We can surely control that brightness, but we do not do it every time we hand it over to our kids. Nor do we train them to do so. Now, the damages to the eye because of bright screens are bit over rated. But, there are some issues that you need to be aware of like the – eye blinking rate being changed, dryness of the eyes and some researches showing the blue hue of mobile screens damages retina in long-term. (More such issues are also discussed here.)
The point being, the technology behind smartphones is fairly new to draw some conclusions as of now. But all we can do, is be a smart parent, when we hand over the smart device to our toddlers or kids. I’ve personally faced the eyes being dry, considering the hours and hours I spend every day in front of my laptop or smartphone. I got everything working fine using these small techniques, I am sure it can help you too!
5 Smart Parenting Tips If Your Kids Use Smartphones
Few Parents might be following some of these tips already, but try to do all of them, If you want to be your kid smart as well as free of any eye-strains. Based on experience from my 17 family friends who are parents, only 5 of them are a bit worried of these issues, and just 2 are doing something about it. So this article is a bit of guideline for the rest and all of you readers!
1. Get’em a Specially Coated Glasses
There are specially coated glasses made in all sizes, and can be customized according to your needs, but the speciality of these glasses is they come with Anti-Reflective (AR) coating. Such coating reduces the glares and reflections caused by bright screens, and help you keep your eyes strain free. These glasses are also sometimes are known by Computer glasses, and may be marketed with some more fancy names. But just go to any nearby optician, and I’m sure he is expert in recommending you a good anti-reflective coating glass.
Tip – Don’t buy glasses with cheap coating. It tends to catch smudges and scratches within a very few days of usage. And those smudges can actually cause more strain than using smartphones with naked eyes. So try to get the good quality anti-reflective glasses. And no, it’s not expensive.
Kids, most of the times read ebooks or play games while laying down on couch or bed. Doing so, keeps the distance between their smartphone screen and the eyes very low. By keeping the distance, consistently low exposes your toddlers or kids to the emitting microwave radiations by the smartphone. Constantly being exposed to these, can cause a bit of strain over the time.
So make sure you watch your kids positions while they are using your iPhone, iPad or Kindle.
We are the creatures of the Habits, and who can teach better than a parent.
Being a parent, you know how to train your kids to do good things like washing your hands after they have their meals. So why not train them to wash their eyes every one hour of using the device. You can also train them to wash eyes before and after they use a smartphone, laptop or a tablet. Another thing you can educate about, is avoiding using smartphones in low light, or with the lights off. The eye strain increases at such badly lit conditions the most. Training your kids with such habits will keep their eyes calm and strain-free.
Kids learn fast, and they will soon start noticing the brightness issues, and they will use manual brightness controls. But what about toddlers? They love watching nursery rhymes on smartphones or tablets right?
The effectiveness of the auto-brightness control is debatable, but if you are not controlling the brightness for them, at least keep the auto brightness control turned on. It will keep the brightness at recommended levels, and help the delicate eyes of your toddlers.
5. Additional Tip for Computer Users!
Talking about smart devices like Android, iPhone, Kindle or Windows Phones, How can I miss the smartest of them all? – The Computer (or a Mac)!
If your little ones spend considerable amount of time on a PC or Mac, you can use all the above mentioned tips. But you can do a little more to help the automate the process.
A tool called f.lux is a great way to reduce eye-strain, as it changes the brightness of your computer based on the time of day. This keeps you free of doing changes in brightness all the time, and this tool is available of Windows, Linux, iPhone and Mac!
I hope these tips are helpful for you to keep your kid’s eyes strain free, while allowing him to use all of your smart gadgets. Please share these tips with your friends and colleagues, and help other parents to be as smart as you!
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