Should kids wear blue light glasses?
How many hours a day are kids staring a screens? Has this number increased over the last 12 months? How close are their eyes to the screens? Do they turn on all the lights in the house to the maximum level?
Kids and screen-time dramatically higher
Today kids are looking at screens more than ever before. This is frightening information, but according to a study by the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media released in October 2019 (so pre-COVID...), 8-12 year-olds in the US use screens for an average of 4 hours, 44 minutes per day, and 13-18 year-olds are on screens for an average of 7 hours, 22 minutes each day. And a more recent report, released in November 2020, found 5-8 year-olds spend just over 3 hours a day looking at a digital device.
Now add in all the extra time as a result of school shut-downs and online learning, and those numbers are scary.
More screen-time means more blue light
Electronic devices emit unnaturally high levels of blue light that isn't balanced by the calming wavelengths of red and yellow light. As a result, the brain is wired from exposure to constant high energy wavelengths, unable to tell the difference between day and night. Blue light is necessary to keep us awake and alert throughout the day, but come night-time and our brains need to calm down and prepare for sleep. Also critical is darkness for the release of melatonin, our sleep hormone. If the eyes don't detect low light, the message to secrete melatonin is not adequately received by the pineal gland, resulting in poor and disrupted sleep patterns.The research is very clear on this subject - higher screen-time equals poorer quality of sleep.
It's more than just poor sleep
There are other damaging effects of high exposure to blue light. Some relate to poor sleep such as diabetes and other chronic health issues, but specific eye conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness) and digital eye strain (blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches) have been associated with long term use of screens.
What's the solution?
The ideal answer is to limit the use of screens, especially at night-time. But we live in the modern world, with devices on and all around us, as well as online schooling still at an all time high. So this is not the easiest to put in to practice. At the very least you can activate low blue light mode on most devices, or there are a number of apps such as f.lux you can install to do this.
Our solution was to create eyewear that can block out the exact range of blue light that is proven to be harmful. After many years of research, and working with experts in the field of photobiology and optics, we created the technology to infuse the lens with a proprietary pigment that effectively blocks blue light.
For our Day lenses that means blocking 95% (you still need some to function and stay alert during the day) and Night lenses block 100% (you need to block all blue light in order for your melatonin to be naturally secreted).
And of course they needed to be stylishly designed so kids would want to wear them.
For 5-10 year olds we have 3 frame styles to choose from - Photon Blue, Spectral Eyes, and Quantum Green.
For 11+ year-olds, we recommend our narrow width frames in our Day & Night range - Clyde, Popp, and Nate.
And for the uber-cool, super-stylish teens, the gold rimmed, finely etched Wallace's are a hit!