WHO IS GENERATION Z?
Today’s kids, known as Gen Z, see the world in a different way This generation represents a quarter of the US population and is defined by the following traits:
Independent Always Connected Multi-taskers
They are using their eyes in different ways and this could have consequences - short and long term. Childhood is a critical time in development of the eye, and childhood is when good and bad eye care habits are formed. Regular eye care and protection habits should begin early in life. Many kids aren’t getting the eye care they need. Watch for these symptoms of possible vision problems: 1. Consistently sitting close to the TV or holding a book close. 2. Frequent eye rubbing. 3. Losing place while reading or using a finger to guide eyes when reading. 4. Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing. 5. Closing one eye to read or watch TV. 6. Receiving lower grades than usual. 7. Avoiding using a computer. 8. Squinting or tilting the head to see.
Yearly eye exams are recommended for children since their eyes can change rapidly. Don’t wait for your child to complain about their vision, since they don’t know what they are supposed to be able to see. Young eyes allow in more damaging UV rays and harmful blue light because the crystalline lenses of young children have not aged to become filters. Studies reveal that high UV exposure in childhood results in a higher incidence of cataracts and other problems in adulthood, and long-term exposure to harmful blue light has been linked to increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration. The sun is the largest source of harmful light. Light is a major factor in human development and research shows spending time outdoors may lower the risk of myopia (nearsightedness), however 50% of children spend less than one hour outside. Children should be encouraged to spend time outside and wear protective sun-wear. Polycarbonate lenses provide important impact resistance. More than 40,000 sports related eye injuries occur each year and 90% could have been prevented with the right eyewear. Harmful blue light and eyestrain are at the forefront of public consciousness because of the increased use of digital devices in recent years. This generation is spending much more time on digital devices which leads to visual fatigue and over-exposure to harmful blue-light rays. Filters are available to reduce this exposure, and it’s important to take breaks following the 20/20/20 rule: Every 20 minutes, looks at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This helps to alleviate digital fatigue and reduce eye strain. 75% of children under the age of 18 spend more than 2 hours a day using digital devices.
Teach your children good eye-care habits now so they have a clearer future!