Social media is bigger than its ever been thanks to all the digital devices we have. It can be fun and useful, but what do parents think of it and its possible health risks? A survey by contact lens and optical advice specialist Lenstore shows that the top use of their digital devices was work related (45%), while coming in at a close second was social media (43%) and then communication at third (37%). In terms of their children, 39% said their child owns a tablet, and 38% said their child owns a mobile phone.
On the social media front 24% of children already have Facebook, with 20% of them being aged just 8 to 10 years old. Parents thought 11 years old was an acceptable age for children to be on Facebook and Google+, while 11.5 years was deemed acceptable to be on networks such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Askfm, Pinterest and Whatsapp. The survey also revealed that 83% of 14-16 years olds have a mobile phone, with 69% of them having Facebook, 33% of them having Twitter, 27% having Instagram and 26% having Snapchat.
What effect could this type of exposure have on them? 66% of parents were concerned about overuse of digital devices with a further 60% specifically worried about the effect that the overuse of digital devices would have on their children’s eyesight. The most common side-effect is called 'Digital Eye Strain'. This can be caused by children holding devices too close to the eyes. Another potential problem is high-energy visible light (HEV) commonly emitted by digital devices. Frequent exposure to HEV light, especially at night or in dark places can be damaging to eyesight.
So what can be done to prevent such problems ever happening? Check out Lenstore's blog post which goes into detail about prevention and highlights some more information about possible risks.