Staff Reporter: Rodyn Rostam

During the pandemic screen time has increased for children raising calls for greater interactivity and exercises outdoors to bolster learning and guard against a projected epidemic of both short and near sightedness

According to a report released in 2019 by Common Sense Media teens spend an average of seven hours and 22 minutes on their phones in only a day.

YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat are the most common social media platforms for teens. Time spent online has increased dramatically in the past year.

Millions of people have been forced to switch to remote learning, while social media use has skyrocketed,Qustodio said on their article “Concerns grow for children’s health as screen times soar during Covid crisis”

Grade 9 Sean Barber stated that during remote learning he was getting eye strains after spending hours on the screen studying, and he experienced some burning sensation in his eyes. He says “The school districts should have done better.

Based on anonymous online habits data provided by 60,000 families, website and app visits in the UK were up by more than 100% this month compared with January 2020, spurred by YouTube, TikTok and BBC News.

The average daily time spent on apps rose by 15%.

“It is definitely clinically significant, especially as there’s evidence that a small decrease of diopter may lead to a significant change in [the ability to distinguish shapes and the details of objects], especially for young kids.”

It is uncertain whether the rise was caused by more time spent on screens or less time outdoors, but previous studies have suggested daylight exposure is key: sending children outdoors for an extra 40 minutes on school days resulted in a 10% reduction in the prevalence of myopia after three years, one study found.

Grade 10 Amadeo says when we all were urged to quarantine, he didn’t go out as much and spent 7 hours a day on the screen which caused him to get headaches and a eye prescription of 0.75.

It is also possible that spending long periods looking at nearby objects, including screens and books, affects eye growth.

“We are seeing a huge rise in people coming to us about sleep problems among children.

“It’s not just screens that are an issue.

On the article “Concerns grow for children’s health as screen times soar during Covid crisis”

Vicki Dawson, the chief executive and founder of the Sleep Charity, said: “We have seen a significant increase in children experiencing sleep problems since the pandemic,”

There would appear to be several factors around this, with increased screen time being one.

In addition to this, there are reduced exercise opportunities, increased anxiety and lack of routine.

“Parents also worry about the impact of excessive screen time on children’s mental and emotional development.

Experts stressed that not all screen time is truly equal.

“The real issue is what’s being done on the screen,” said Paul Howard-Jones, a professor of neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol.