Medical Alert: Eyestrain Common for Kids Staring at Screens Too Long

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– If their eyes are glued to the screen, it could be doing more damage than good.

While it’s parents responsibility to limit their kids computer time at home, some lawmakers want to make the schools responsible as well.

Political reporter Pat Warren says many may not realize the potential hazard.

The line used to be: don’t sit too close to the TV, you’ll ruin your eyes. Now it’s get off the phone, the tablet, the computer or risk more than your sight.

The cyber age has opened classrooms to a universe of knowledge. But is it too much of a good thing?

“Eyestrain is a common complaint for kids who are really looking at screens too much,” says Dr. Scott Krugman of Medstar Franklin Square Hospital.

Eyestrain is a serious concern, along with musculoskeletal discomforts that include neck and back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. But there’s another troubling concern says Franklin Square Medstar department of pediatrics chairman: lack of sleep.

Because they’re with their tablets with their TVs and that’s preventing them from falling asleep at a normal time and that causes problems.

Those concerns are being aired in the general assembly, with a bill to set guidelines on classroom use of electronic devices.

“My children are in school and I have a lengthy career in technology,” Cindy Eckard says.

Eckard brought the idea of guidelines to her Delegate Steven Arentz, sponsor of the bill.

“I have kids of my own, I deal with it with my son,” Arentz says.

Serious discussions are taking place in households and the State House about time spent looking straight ahead.

There are also findings that show the more kids use computers, the less interactive they become with real life. The bill has significant support from the medical community.

OSHA has regulations for computer use for office workers, but there is no oversight for schools.

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