Nearsightedness Is Way Up In Children. Guess Why.

little kid in glassesIn the 1970s, nearsightedness affected 25% of the population. According to a very rigorous study recently done by the National Eye Institute, it’s now up to 41%. Researchers and physicians are shocked by the findings. And although the study did not look directly at the cause, those in the know have some strong suspicions about what might be contributing.

Guess what tops the list of possible suspects? Well, genetics is certainly one contributor but two other things caught our attention immediately: the huge increase in “near-work” and not enough time playing OUTSIDE in the sun.

Children’s eyes need sunlight in order to stimulate their far vision and develop as they should. As we know, kids are spending much more time these days inside, attached to one machine or another. The other possible culprit, the “near-work” involved in playing video games, texting, and computer use can also affect eye development. And there you have the double-whammy.

So in case you needed one more reason to turn off the t.v., computer or video game and get your kids outside playing, here you go. And don’t forget to get regular eye exams for your child to make sure his vision and eye health are good.

As for all you mamas, it might be wise to cut down on your texting, too. Your eyes are also at risk.  And even though we hope you’re little one isn’t texting yet, this is a heads-up on the need to limit that too, once he gets a bit older.

It never ends, does it??

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Ellen and Rachel are two old friends and “expert” mamas—one a pediatrician and one a family therapist—with fifty years of parenting experience between them.


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