The new normal has brought its own set of challenges. While everyone’s life has gone topsy turvy, the health effect on children because of the “new normal” will have lasting effects even after the pandemic is over.
From physiological effects of being away from society, by being confined in their houses during their formative years to the very imminent effect on their health due to lack of play and increased screen time!
While screen time before the lockdown was optional and limited, it was a better time for children to be able to engage in physical & social activities without worrying about burnout. With children’s academics going completely online, screen time has not only become imminent but increased exponentially in the last 1 year.
To help relieve their eyesight from the strain, here are some exercises that they can do to avoid long term damage:
Blinking of eyes
As simple as it sounds, it has a relaxing effect on the eyes. Ask your child to blink his eyes 5-10 times and they can repeat it throughout the day especially as a break from their screen time (while attending online classes)
The increased screen time in the last few decades due to the advancements in technology has left us with multiple problems relating to the eye. The human eye is not suitable to be focused on a single object (in this case, a screen) for longer durations. To ease the eye strain, it is recommended that we look at something 20 feet away, every 20 minutes for 20 seconds each. You can ask your child to practice this every hour to ensure there is less strain on their eyes.
Our eyes have the capabilities of changing focus depending on the object we are looking at, whether far or near. THis can be a great exercise for your eyes, if your child is exposed to extended amounts of screen time. Ask your child to hold their thumb 10 inches away from their face & focus on it for 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, ask them to focus on the objects beyond the thumb. This exercise can be repeated several times in a day.
Ask your child to pick a point on a blank wall in front of them, about 7 - 10 feet away. Make them trace an imaginary figure-8 that helps them move their eyeballs fully & gives them the right exercise they need. This can be done for 30 seconds every few hours.
You can also do these exercises with our easy-to-follow videos on Instagram. Check them out here:
While exercising can help deal with the strain of increased screen time, nutritious foods also help in improving overall eye health. Here are some healthy options that your child can consume:
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sweet potatoes
While the above foods are filled with nutrition, they will not be of use if there is no ample water intake. Consult with your child’s physician on their healthy water intake capacity.
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