9 Ways to protect child’s eyes from the screen: By Nidhi Gupta


Children’s exposure to screens is a pressing concern. As we move towards a digital era where learning and entertainment are predominantly screen-based, the impact on children’s eye health is a topic that cannot be ignored. The surge in screen time, driven by educational apps, online learning, video games, and social media, has led to a significant increase in concerns among parents and healthcare professionals about the potential harm to children’s eyes.

Have you heard of digital eye strain? It’s a condition also known as computer vision syndrome or screen fatigue. It’s not just a fancy term—it’s a real issue that affects children who spend a lot of time on screens.

The symptoms are familiar: frequent headaches, blurry vision, tiredness, and dry eyes. When children focus on screens for long periods, they blink less, leading to dry and irritated eyes. That’s why managing screen time is crucial for your child’s eye health. 

Especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, the trend toward online learning and entertainment witnessed a considerable surge. This significant increase is reflected in the noticeable increase in digital eye strain cases among children.

Welcome to this article, where we will discuss safeguarding children’s eye health in the digital age. We will discuss the causes of digital eye strain, the importance of managing screen time, and practical tips to protect your child’s vision, including the role of kids nutrition. Proper kids nutrition is essential for maintaining overall eye health, providing the necessary vitamins and minerals that support healthy vision. Let’s get started!

Also Read: What are the best and worst foods for your child’s brain health?

What exactly causes digital eye strain? 

What exactly causes digital eye strain? 

Prolonged screen use results in strained eyes. Staring at computer screens, tablets, and smartphones strains the eyes as the continuous focus and reduced blinking contribute to eye fatigue. Poorly adjusted screen brightness, contrast, and font size can exacerbate eye strain, with bright screens in dimly lit rooms or dim screens in bright environments being problematic. Even incorrect screen placements, such as screens being too close or too far away, of improper height, or placed at awkward angles, affect eye comfort. Moreover, the blue light that digital screens emit disrupts sleep patterns.

Managing Screen Time to Protect Your Child’s Vision

Once you understand that screens aren’t great for the eyes, it’s obvious to wonder if there are ways in which you can mitigate or minimize the effects of screen time. Well, there are many ways in which you can do so. So, how can one manage screen time effectively? Let’s look at some of the tips that further this cause!

1. Implement the 20-20-20 Rule

Implement the 20-20-20 Rule

One of the most effective ways to protect your child’s eyes is by implementing the 20-20-20 rule. This simple yet powerful rule encourages your child to take a break every 20 minutes by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. By making your child aware of the importance of these breaks, you’re empowering them to take control of their eye health.

2. Maintain Proper Lighting

The lighting situation of the room where your child uses the screens is supposed to be well-lit to prevent glare and reflections on the screen. Natural light is ideal, but ensure adequate ambient indoor light if that isn’t possible. 

Also, ensure the background light isn’t dropping from behind, as it can be difficult for them to concentrate. Thus, find a suitable position that avoids this and ensures the screen’s brightness blends with the surroundings. 

 3. Adjust Screen Settings

Regularly check and optimize the screen settings and ensure they aren’t too bright. Teach your child the optimal brightness that screens need to be at. With tablets becoming advanced, there are ample settings for specific use cases, such as a reading mode that blocks off blue light and is easy on the eyes. Even text sizes can be tweaked, and increasing the font size makes reading easier. 

 4. Posture and Distance Matter

You must teach your child the proper distance to view screens. The screen should be about an arm’s length away and slightly below eye level. Ensure your child sits upright with their back supported and feet flat on the floor.

The point is that the screen must be placed such that the eyes will only slightly move downward while keeping their heads straight and their eye level on top of the device. 

 5. Using Blue Light Filters and Screen Protectors

Blue light is the enemy that disrupts sleep patterns and causes strained eyes. Blue light filter apps or screen protectors with blue light filtering capabilities minimize exposure and reduce eye strain. 

Blue light can also affect the brain, generally giving the brain a signal to think that it is daytime and, hence, struggle to sleep. Therefore, avoid giving your kids devices a few hours before bedtime. 

Also read: Delightful Summer Recipes for Kids

 6. Outdoor Activities are Mandatory

Tell your child to spend time outdoors as well. This activity benefits the eyes by soaking up natural light, which is beneficial and remedial. Being active can help them stay healthy by improving their stamina, muscles, and strength. 

Get them to run around and be in the sun rather than in a closed room before the screen. 

 7. Set Screen Time Limits

It doesn’t matter what screen time is being used for. Whether it’s learning or playing, your child should be limited in screen time. Enforcing limits on the amount spent on electronics has lots of benefits, including improved eye health. It’s essential to restrict screen time. Screen time for kids between 2 and 12 can be 1 hour per day. 

8. Move to a bigger screen 

When you concentrate on an image on a smaller screen, your eyes get more strained than on a larger screen. Appropriately change the size of the screen depending on the usage. For instance, if they are concentrating on a class, it’s better to move to a tablet or a laptop than a phone. Similarly, if they are watching a movie, TV can serve the purpose better than a tablet or a computer. 

9. Take adequate breaks 

Prolonged time on a screen can strain the eyes too much. That’s why giving it a break to the eyes and indulging in less straining activity during a break is essential. Ensure you power off all the gadgets during the break to encourage the relaxation your children’s eyes especially need. 

Habits to Reduce Eye Strain

While digital mediums have predominantly influenced your child’s life, try incorporating these habits to keep their eyes protected. 

Habits to Reduce Eye Strain

Use Computer Glasses

Specialized computer glasses are available in the market that can help reduce eye strain by optimizing focus at screen distance and reducing glare. These glasses are designed for a comfortable viewing experience and extended screen use.

Create Screen-Free Zones

Screens don’t deserve certain zones—the dining room and bedrooms, for instance. Designate such areas of your home as screen-free zones. This encourages breaks from screens and promotes other activities, like reading or playing board games.

Teach Blinking Exercises

Blinking keeps the eyes moist and reduces dryness and discomfort. Simple blinking exercises can make a big difference in maintaining eye health. Teach your child to blink regularly while using screens. 


While minimizing screen time seems unrealistic in this age, especially with schools adopting a digital-first approach, you as a parent need to take matters into your own hands to protect your child by reducing eye strain.

Spending time outdoors and being physically active has its benefits, but in 2024, screens will be highly relevant and dominant. 

Digital screens shouldn’t be treated as an enemy; they can serve a greater purpose when appropriately used. Thus, regulating screen time in children’s lives is crucial to protecting their eyes. Take these tiny steps to protect their eyes for a better future.

Nidhi Gupta is an ACE certified personal trainer and nutritionist with over 10 years of experience helping people reach their fitness goals. She is passionate about helping people live healthier lives and loves sharing her knowledge and expertise with others. Get in touch with her to learn more about how she can help you on your fitness journey.