Canadian Association of Optometrists/Canadian Ophthalmological Society Joint Position Statement: Effects of Electronic Screens on Children’s Vision and Recommendations for Safe Use – Canadian Association of Optometrists

Screen-time is not a direct cause of the increased prevalence or progression of myopia; this prevalence has instead been linked with children spending fewer hours outdoors and may potentially by due to decreased exposure to outdoor light. This literature reviews ocular and visual symptoms related to electronic screens use in children and provides evidence-based guidelines for safe use.

  • Recommended amount of screen-time for children:
    • 0-2 years: none, small exception of live video chatting with parental support – potential for social development
    • 2-5 years: No more than 1 hour per day. Programming should be age appropriate and help them apply what they are seeing to their 3D environment
    • 5-18 years: no more than 2 hours per day of recreational screen-time. Children report total screen-time to be much higher (+7 hours per day in some studies) – this is not realistic considering the multitude of device screens children are exposed to.
  • Breaks after no more than 60 minutes of use – breaks should include whole – body physical activity.
  • Workstation ergonomics: chair heights should be set such that the childs feet can lay flat on the floor or on a stool underneath the feet to allow for support
  • Use of screens within one hour before bedtime should be avoided