Children sitting too close to the television has been a problem ever since the TV was invented. And now that the screens are bigger and clearer than ever before, you might think the desire to sit close would subside. But kids are still kids and they still like to sit really close the television screen. This article will address some of those concerns.
Back in the days of small screens enclosed in a big box of tubes, kids would inch their way closer to see that small, grainy screen to watch their favorite shows. But now with television screens larger than anyone imagined, they still want to sit close. Why? There are different theories to explain this phenomenon but the primary one is related to normal childhood development. Children like to immerse themselves in the moment. The more entertaining and captivating the show, the more likely they are to sit really close because they want to immerse themselves in the show they’re watching. That same 4 year old who is 2 feet away from Dora the Explorer will probably scoot back to a more normal distance if the channel is changed to Fox Business Channel.
But can sitting too close harm my child’s vision?
In a word, no. What determines if the eye is focused clearly is the length of the eyeball and the curve of the cornea on the front of the eye. Watching TV, close up or further back, won’t alter these measurements. Kids may stare too long at the screen and the eyes may dry out as a result. So, if you see your child rubbing their eyes or their eyes look a little red after watching TV too long, then it’s time for a break from all the screen staring.
A few tips:
- Don’t turn every light off in the room. Yes, in the movie theater, all the lights are off, but it’s easier on the eyes to have some room lights on.
- Encourage your child to scoot back, but don’t fret over it. He will block the view of everyone else if he’s too close. Also, children will stare more of they sit closer.
- Limit the amount of time on the TV any way. There’s just better ways to for a kid to spend their time.