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Myths and Facts About Children's Eye Health
Date:10/9/2009

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many parents grew up with medical adages or advice that have since been proven by scientists to be incorrect or outdated. Here are five common myths about children's eye health and the medical reality behind them, prepared by the physicians at The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Myth #1. Sitting too close to the TV will damage your child's eyes.

Fact: "Sitting in front of the TV or a computer screen for four hours may hinder your child's intellectual development but it will not damage their eyes," notes Dr. Mark Borchert, division head of The Vision Center at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles.

Nearly half of all kids spend four hours or more per day using computers and electronic devices, according to a recent national survey. Dr. Borchert notes that children can develop blurred vision, headaches and other problems when focusing too long on one object, such as a computer screen. Long video game sessions may have adverse consequences such as reduced social interaction or less time doing homework; however, they will not permanently damage a child's eyes.

"If a child is sitting too close to the TV or computer screen, it is probably because he needs glasses to see well. Sitting very close to the screen will not cause them to need glasses," said Dr. Borchert.

To make your child's computer station more comfortable, make sure the screen is at eye level. Reduce screen glare by using a desk lamp with a dimmer so there isn't a big contrast between the brightness of the screen and the room. Make sure your child can't see her own reflection on the screen.

Enforce the 20/20 rule. Have your child take a 20-second break for every 20 minutes of screen time, either by getting up and stretching or by looking out the window.

The concern about TV screens damaging young eyes originated in the 1960s when some early color TV sets were discov
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SOURCE Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
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