Blue Light Glasses for Kids: Does Your Child Need Them?
January 16, 2023 • 8:22 AM
With the rise of smartphones and the iPad, too much screen time for kids was already a problem before 2020. Then the pandemic hit, and remote learning — and bored kids stuck at home — took digital device use to a whole new level.
These days, children are spending a lot more time online — but it’s taking a toll on their eyes and general health. Luckily, technology has also given us part of the solution: blue light glasses for kids.
Let’s clarify exactly how screen time can affect your child, and how blue light glasses for kids can help. We’ll also share some suggestions for protecting your child’s eye health to make sure they maintain the best possible vision well into adulthood.
What Counts as Screen Time?
In a nutshell, screen time is whenever your child is sitting in front of a computer screen, whether they’re doing homework on a laptop, watching a YouTube video on a smartphone, or playing computer games on an iPad or television screen.
So how much screen time is too much? The screen time recommendation for kids younger than 5 is less than one hour a day, which should be supervised. For older children, things get a bit trickier and most professional organizations agree that it’s up to parents to decide how much is appropriate for their children. For tweens and up, media use should become a conversation.
One consequence of too much screen time is digital eye strain — or computer vision syndrome (CVS) — a combination of visual fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, and headaches. Another part of the issue is that digital screens of all kinds emit harmful blue light. Contrary to popular belief, digital blue light exposure is not the cause of eye strain.
The Effects of Blue Light
When kids are exposed to blue light, melatonin production is disrupted, which in turn affects their circadian rhythm — this is the natural cycle that governs sleep. If your child is spending a lot of time in front of a screen before bed, they probably won’t sleep well — which means dealing with a tired, unfocused, and potentially grumpy kid the next day.
Apart from potentially interfering with your own downtime, not getting enough sleep has many other effects on kids, including reduced cognitive functioning and increased mental health and behavioral challenges.
One solution is to enforce a no-screen rule for an hour or two before bedtime — but this isn’t always realistic. Homework deadlines, busy parents, and kids that rely on their devices to communicate with friends can get in the way. That’s where blue light glasses for kids come in.
How Kids Blue Light Blocking Glasses Can Help
Blue light glasses for kids contain yellow-tinted or clear lenses that are specially designed to act as blue light blockers. Blue light filters can be applied to non-prescription eyeglasses as well as kids’ prescription glasses, whether they’re single-vision or progressive.
Blue light lenses are especially useful for computer glasses or gaming glasses, or if your child is using a device of any kind during that crucial time before bed.
Other Ways to Protect Your Child’s Eye Health
As we’ve mentioned, blue light doesn’t cause eyestrain or its associated symptoms. That’s simply a result of too many hours spent focused on one thing — which could just as easily be a book as a computer screen.
There are a few ways to combat this so your child’s eye health stays strong.
Teach your child the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes or so, they should look up for about 20 seconds, and focus on something at least 20 feet away. That could mean setting a timer and when it goes off, they simply look out a window or around the house or classroom.
Encourage them to spend time outdoors, whether they’re going for a walk or playing a sport. These are healthy activities in their own right, but looking at the scenery or focusing on a ball on the other side of the playing field also gives the eyes a break from the close-up work that seems to increase the risk of developing myopia.
Research shows that we blink less than normal when we’re using a digital device, so it’s no wonder we end up with dry eyes. Put up a sticky note to remind your child to blink regularly, which keeps the eyes moist.
Check if your child needs prescription computer glasses. These help them to focus in the middle distance, which is perfect for using computer and laptop screens.
Invest in a computer with a built-in anti-glare screen or add a matte screen filter. These are available at many computer stores or you can order them from an online retailer like Amazon.
Studies show that getting too much screen time may affect a child’s development. Consider following the guidelines from the American Association of Pediatrics for how much screen time to allow your young child, depending on their age. For older kids, consider putting together a family media plan.
Where to Get the Best Blue Light Glasses for Kids
If you think your child could benefit from blue light glasses for kids, look no further than Pair Eyewear. Our range of kids’ styles can be customized to include blue light filters as well as their choice of stylish or funky Top Frames.
Choose from these kids’ Base Frames:
For 5 to 9-year-olds, try The Serra or The Cedro. The Serra is a round style that suits kids with more angular faces, while The Cedro is rectangular and therefore ideal for children with round or oval faces.
For 8 to 10-year-olds, The Otero works well. This pair is also rectangular but more rounded so it suits any face shape.
Our Pair Size Guide might also help you decide which frame is best.
Use the Virtual Try-On feature to see how your child will look wearing the Base Frame for their age, then get them involved in choosing a Top Frame they love. The more involved in the process they are, the more likely they are to wear their new eyewear — and get excited about it.
Pair Eyewear frames are crafted from cellulose acetate with impact-resistant and scratch-resistant polycarbonate lenses. These lightweight yet tough materials protect kids’ eyes and can withstand the normal wear and tear any child’s glasses are subjected to.
Sleep, Learn, and Play Better With Blue Light Filtering Glasses
Whether they’re doing their homework or relaxing with a computer game, kids these days spend a lot of time looking at screens. In the process, they’re exposed to harmful blue light emitted by most digital devices. That blue light interferes with sleep patterns, resulting in tired, unfocused, and grouchy kids.
One solution is blue light glasses for kids. While these don’t necessarily reduce eye strain, they do block blue light and help your child sleep better. Get blue light glasses for kids from Pair Eyewear today. You’ll be doing your child (and, by extension, the whole family) a favor.