Parents in Bedfordshire who are trying to adjust to the new norm of juggling homeschooling with their own work commitments and keeping locked down children entertained should bear in mind the impact that increased screen time has on their children’s eye and hearing health.
Advice from Specsavers store directors in Bedfordshire
The store directors across the region encourage getting children outside in line with government guidelines and using the 20:20:20 rule. To do this get your child to look up from their screen every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds, as this helps relax the eye muscles.
Do this to avoid eye strain which can be uncomfortable, but it is not usually serious and tends to ease once you rest your eyes. Symptoms to look out for include eye discomfort, headaches, sore or tired eyes, difficulty focusing, dry eyes, blurred or double vision, and increased sensitivity to light.
Look after children's ears too
If you find your child’s TV or music consumption increasing, keep the volume at a safe level, especially if they use headphones.
Gordon Harrison, Specsavers’ Chief Audiologist, says: ‘For parents whose children are possibly spending more time than usual gaming or listening to music with the volume up full blast, remind them to take regular breaks and turn down the noise. The same applies to noisy toys.
‘Normal levels of conversation are about 65 decibels, which is almost half the levels you get at places like concerts and events. However, when we listen to music or watch videos while wear-ing headphones it is easy to let the volume creep up – especially if trying to cancel out background noise.