Screen Time and Children's Vision: Finding the Right Balance for Healthy Eyes

Screen Time and Children's Vision: Finding the Right Balance for Healthy Eyes

Screen time is a vital aspect of modern life, but it also has potential effects on children's vision, including digital eye strain and sleep disruption. Finding the right balance involves implementing strategies like the 20-20-20 rule, encouraging outdoor play, monitoring and regulating screen time, creating an eye-friendly environment, and ensuring regular eye check-ups. These measures help to foster healthy eyes without depriving children of the benefits of technology. The focus isn't merely on limiting screen time but promoting habits that nourish children's eyes. By embracing a mindful approach, parents can help children perceive, understand, and explore the world both on-screen and off, ensuring a healthy visual future.


In our tech-savvy world, where screens are an integral part of education, entertainment, and even social interaction, it can be challenging for parents to navigate the balance of screen time for their children. While technology offers numerous benefits and conveniences, the impact of prolonged screen time on children's vision is a concern that cannot be overlooked. This blog aims to delve into the relationship between screen time and children's eye health, offering insights into finding that all-important balance for healthy eyes.

The Connection Between Screen Time and Vision

The Effect on Eyesight:

Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to eye strain, dryness, and fatigue. These symptoms are often grouped together under the term "digital eye strain." For children, whose eyes are still developing, the effects can be even more profound. It's not just about limiting screen time; it's about understanding how children interact with screens and taking proactive measures to reduce strain.

Impact on Sleep Patterns:

Excessive screen time, especially before bedtime, can interfere with children's sleep patterns. The blue light emitted by screens suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that signals the body it's time to sleep. Adequate sleep is essential for overall health, including eye health. Parents can establish screen-free routines before bedtime to encourage better sleep.

Finding the Right Balance

Implement the 20-20-20 Rule:

A simple and effective way to reduce eye strain is to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something at least 20 feet away. This gives the eyes a much-needed rest and can be a fun activity for children as well. Regular breaks from screens are not a mere disruption; they are a valuable habit that promotes eye health and can even boost concentration and productivity.

Encourage Outdoor Activities:

Physical outdoor activities aren't just great for overall health; they are beneficial for eyes too. Encouraging children to play outside exposes them to natural light and helps in the development of healthy eyes. Outdoor play is more than just a way to limit screen time; it's an enriching experience that provides children with a range of sensory stimulations.

Guidelines and Recommendations

  • Monitor and Regulate Screen Time: Set reasonable limits based on age and individual needs. Include screen-free times during the day.
  • Create an Eye-Friendly Environment: Ensure proper lighting and reduce glare. Encourage children to maintain a healthy distance from the screen.
  • Regular Eye Check-ups: Routine eye examinations can detect any issues early and ensure that children's eyes are developing properly.

Screen time and children's vision is a complex issue that requires empathy, understanding, and careful consideration. While screens are an unavoidable part of modern life, their impact on children's eye health necessitates a thoughtful approach to balance.

The key to healthy eyes isn't merely limiting screen time but incorporating habits like the 20-20-20 rule, encouraging outdoor play, and ensuring regular eye check-ups. Together, these measures create a holistic approach to children's vision, allowing them to benefit from technology without compromising their eye health.

As parents, teachers, and caregivers, our responsibility extends beyond mere regulation. It involves nurturing, educating, and leading by example. Let's embrace technology, but let's also be mindful of our children's precious eyes. After all, their vision is not just about seeing; it's about perceiving, understanding, and exploring the beautiful world around them, both on-screen and off.

Written on behalf of Blink Eyewear


Activities that require intense focus or involve fast-moving images can cause more strain. Also, using screens in dimly lit environments or holding screens too close to the face can increase the risk of eye discomfort. It's essential to monitor and moderate such activities.

Set up scheduled break times, engage them in non-screen-based activities they enjoy, create screen-free zones in the house, and lead by example by managing your own screen time.

Symptoms may include squinting, frequent rubbing of the eyes, complaints of blurry vision, headaches, difficulty focusing, and tired or burning eyes.

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Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 3 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

Go ahead and Blink; what you see is really what you get. Call one of our store numbers or fill out the form below to book an appointment.

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