They are on every kid’s birthday and Christmas lists – the newest video game! We want to get them what they want, but is this healthy for their eyes? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.
Benefits of Playing Video Games
When video games are played in moderation, they can be beneficial in many ways. They can actually improve and sharpen your child’s visual acuity if played in moderation. Video games can improve eye movement coordination, eye-hand coordination, side vision awareness, visual reaction time and sharpen the visual skills used in school, sports and future jobs.
Can Video Games Harm Your Children’s Eyes?
If your child stares at a video screen for hours and hours this will place stress on the eyes. Eyestrain can lead to blurred vision, headaches and tired eyes. All of which is temporary. Have your child take breaks about every 30 minutes or so while playing. Make sure your child is no closer than 5 feet from the video screen and when on break, that does not mean sit and stare at the screen without playing for 5 minutes. Have them stand up, walk around rest their eyes.
Symptoms of Eye Problems in Children
While playing video games for hours on end can lead to eye strain, do not attribute any vision problem your child may have to video games. If your child is showing signs of visual problems take them to the eye doctor and have their vision checked out.
Some signs that your child may need a vision exam are continued blurred vision. You may notice that your child is not able to distinguish objects in the distance. Perhaps your child holds their book far away to read it. You may notice that your child squints their eyes to focus on tasks; this can be a sign of visual changes that need an eye exam. If your child gets frequent headaches or pain around their eyes after focusing either on homework, reading a book or even a video game in moderation you might consider impaired vision and make an appointment for have an eye examination.
You and your child should have regular eye exams whether or not symptoms of eye problems are present. Some issues can be hidden without symptoms. Sometimes we do not realize how impaired our vision is until we get corrective lenses and see clearly for the first time.