Health Effects of Blue Light on Children

Posted by Jaclyn Edelstein on

In today’s society, technology is everywhere. Smartphones, televisions, and computers are only a few of the common gadgets found in everyday households. Technology is so prevalent that as of 2018, smartphones can be found in 84% of households and 92% own a computer of some type.

With the majority of households having access to technology of some kind, children’s exposure to technology has also increased significantly. While there are plenty of benefits to technology, there are also plenty of drawbacks.

One of these drawbacks is increased exposure to artificial blue light, which many of these technologies emit. Negative health effects from blue light are a known drawback associated with the onslaught of technological devices.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is part of the light spectrum visible to human eyes. One-third of all visible light is blue light, with significant blue light sources being sunlight and artificial light such as fluorescents, LEDS, and screens. It is a high-energy light that can have negative health effects when one has prolonged exposure to it.

Blue Light Health Effects on Children

Nowadays, children are exposed to several sources of blue light from a young age. Mothers are putting tablets in front of their toddlers’ faces to keep them distracted for a little while. Children spend hours binging Netflix, and teenagers spend their nights and weekends playing video games.

With every new generation, children are becoming more adept with handling technology. One study even reveals that children from ages 8 to 18 actually spend a staggering average of 114 full days a year behind a screen.

All this time exposed to blue light can lead to several health problems for children.

This is due to young eyes being less developed than adults’ and not filtering it as well Listed below are five  common problems associated with prolonged exposure to blue light:

1. Vision Issues

This is perhaps the most obvious impact blue light has on children’s health. Exposure to too much blue light can negatively impact eye health. It can harm the retina, cause dry eyes and eye strain, and lead to blurred vision. 

Exposure to blue light through excessive screen time can also be linked to an increase of myopia, or near-sightedness, in children.

Another problem is age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which occurs when the macula is damaged and central vision is lost.

2. Weight Gain

There is also a link between screen time and obesity. Children are spending more and more time in front of TVs, tablets, and other forms of screens, and as a result they are less active.

Along with the risk of obesity, children are also at risk of developing other related health problems, such as diabetes and poor muscle development.

3. Mental Health Problems

Blue light exposure can also alter a child’s mood and behavior. It can lead to anxiety issues and depression due to an overproduction of certain neurotransmitters.

Children can become overstimulated from too much screen time and become irritable when they are not in front of a screen. This can then harm their relationships with family or friends as they spend less time with them.

4. Disrupted Sleep Patterns

While blue light may be helpful during daylight hours, it is disruptive during the nighttime. This is because artificial blue light messes with the levels of melatonin the body is producing.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps promote sleep, so the body’s suppression of melatonin as a result of blue light exposure can disrupt the body’s natural clock, making it hard for children to fall asleep. Poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation are common results of this disruption.

Limiting screen time before bed can significantly improve sleep patterns and the quality of one’s sleep.

5. Trouble Focusing

Blue light can make it harder for children to focus. One study even suggests there is a correlation between a child’s exposure to blue light and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD).

This is because the child’s brain becomes wired to crave the stimulation that excessive screen time brings. Some children even experience a mental decline and memory loss problems.

How to Counteract the Negative Effects of Blue Light

It is hard to escape the pull of technology and the effects of the blue light emissions, but it is not impossible. Here are a few of the ways you can help ease the strain of blue light for children:

  • Reduce your children’s screen time: Limiting the amount of time children spend facing a screen can help negate a few of the aforementioned consequences of prolonged blue light exposure.

    Limiting exposure to electronic devices thirty minutes before bedtime can help improve sleep quality, and limiting screen-time throughout the day can help increase physical activity and stay fit.

  • Have them follow the 20-20-20 rule: The 20-20-20 rule basically means taking a break every 20 minutes to view something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Following this rule can help decrease the strain blue light puts on an individual’s eyes.

  • Wear blue light blocking glasses: Blue light blocking glasses for kids can help reduce eye strain by filtering out blue light emitted from screens.

Help Your Child’s Eye Health with the Best Blue Light Glasses Today

Blue blocker glasses can help protect your child’s eyes from dangerous blue light that is emitted from many of the technologies kids have access to today.

You can get blue light glasses for your child at BluEyes; glasses that are both stylish and protective!

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