Date
25 September 2017
Children are at risk of myopia or glaucoma with prolonged exposure to electronic gadgets, according to eye experts. Photo: HK government
Children are at risk of myopia or glaucoma with prolonged exposure to electronic gadgets, according to eye experts. Photo: HK government

Experts warn against child exposure to electronic gadgets

Children under two years old should not be allowed to use any electronic devices, according to eye specialists.

The warning came after a survey found that one-third of Hong Kong children are exposed to electronic devices at a very young age.

The survey, conducted in June by the College of Ophthalmologists and the Hong Kong Ophthalmological Society, interviewed 221 kindergarten parents with children aged two to six.

It found that 400,000 12-year-olds suffer from myopia or nearsightedness, more than in any city.

About 95 percent of the children use electronic gadgets every day for about two hours on average, in line with the guidelines of the Department of Health.

A quarter use them for entertainment.

A mother said her daughter has had myopia since primary school.

Now she limits the child to 15 minutes of electronic playing time.

College of Ophthalmologists council member Simon Ko said parents should not ignore the risk from electronic devices to children.

He warned that prolonged exposure might cause glaucoma from damage to the optic nerve.

Users should stop every 20 minutes and look at something six meters away for 20 seconds, he said.

And parents should encourage their children to engage in outdoor activities more often.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

TL/AC/RA

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