Eyes are organs that are very important for our lives, so their health must be maintained as early as possible. If there is an eye problem, even if it is a little, it will still make you uncomfortable. Visual impairment in children can be influenced by several factors, including daily habits, congenital and genetic disorders. Daily habits seem to occur since children nowadays are very close to gadgets, especially in this pandemic era when children learn from home online.

dr. Arnila Novitasari Saubig, Sp.M(K), Ophthalmologist (Consultant)atDiponegoro National Hospital of Diponegoro University, stated that the ability for children to see far and near should be balanced, so they need help from both teachers and parents to provide understanding to children and to limit time in using gadgets.

“Children under 3 years old are not allowed to use gadgets, but usually 3 to 4 years old are already entered preschool. They can use gadgets only about 30 to 45 minutes so it is less than one hour, while kindergarten students can use gadgets about 60 to 90 minutes and elementary students for 3 to  4 hours. The current schedule of online school for children is about 2 hours, there is half an hour break, that is good enough. And for the rest of time is it okay to play gadgets? We should limit it, they can switch to watching TV or if they want to watch YouTube they can be moved to a wider television screen,” she said.

“It is safer to use a PC or laptop because the distance is maintained, the eye distance from the screen is 30 to 50 cm, it will reduce fatigue in the eye muscles, thus preventing the need for glasses. As for children who already wear glasses, they will keep their progress from being fast. When we look at the screen closely especially for a long period of time, the muscles in the eyes work hard but when we look it from far away the muscles will relax,” she continued.

dr. Arnila said to maintain eye health there are several things you can do, including consuming nutritious foods, such as foodwhich hasorange or green color like carrot, tomato, papaya, broccoli, spinach, tomatoes or omega 3 eggs. The length of time using gadgets per day should be observed. Furthermore, the parents must be aware of the condition of the children’s eyes, especially when the child was a baby or premature baby, whether there are abnormalities, for example, the child always avoids light, cries when exposed to lights or light, does not focus and does not respond to toys. There are allergies in the eyes too, we need to pay attention, for example, when children holding toys or playing with sand then forget to wash their hands and rub their eyes, it can cause red eyes and bumps on the upper or lower eyelids.

“As parents, we must always pay attention to the children if we find abnormalities in their eyes, and we must immediately take them to an ophthalmologist or health center. In the era of school from home like this, it is necessary to limit the use of gadgets, the time must be adjusted according to age, the screen must be wide, the distance must be maintained and nutrition for eye health must also be consumed,” she said. (Linda – Public Relations)

Translated by: Titis – Public Relations