Back to school reminder

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With a new school year fast approaching, parents are busy preparing their kids for classes, making sure they have backpacks, school supplies and maybe a few new outfits.

We know it’s a busy time for parents and things often get forgotten, but it’s important for parents to remember to talk to their kids about the effects of digital eyestrain.

For us in the newsroom, going to school didn’t mean staring at digital devices all day. But it’s a changing world and, nowadays, SMART boards (interactive whiteboards using touch detection) are used in classrooms rather than blackboards and kids often have digital devices at their desks.

Many assignments can now be submitted via email rather than on a piece of paper.

According to Dr. Jared Long, an optometrist with the Airdrie Eyecare Centre, children can experience digital eyestrain symptoms such as headaches, irritability, blurred vision and dry eyes after looking at a device for more than two hours.

To avoid these symptoms, Long recommends taking frequent breaks between extended sessions of using a digital device. For a proper break, he recommends staring at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.

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