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11 Best Blue Light Glasses for Kids: Your Easy Buying Guide (Updated!)

Exposure to blue light is more prevalent today than ever before. Blue light is literally everywhere. The sun is the primary source however it also comes from an undeniable part of life: screens.

Computers, tablets, mobile devices, televisions, and LED lights all contribute to eye fatigue and possible damage because the energy they emit is much higher than the other end of the color spectrum. With mobile learning now a reality for many children across the country, kids are looking at more screens than ever before.

Blue blockers may be an option for parents to counter the effects of screen time. While doctors and specialists are skeptical of the benefits that blue light glasses may bring, more parents are adding them to their child’s school shopping lists than ever before.

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What is Blue Light Anyway?

Blue light is literally everywhere. Officially it’s classified as visible light with more energy and shorter wavelengths than light on the other side of the color spectrum. Think of a rainbow: red through green is lower energy, visible light. As the colors give way to blues, the energy increases. 

After blue comes ultraviolet or UV light which is invisible and may cause eye and skin damage after enough exposure (Ultraviolet rays also have beneficial effects such as encouraging the body to produce vitamin D.).

The sky looks blue because light rays on the blue end of the visible color spectrum feature shorter wavelengths. Those shorter wavelengths scatter more easily than others when they strike air and water molecules in the air. Since there are more blue wavelengths scattered around the atmosphere, the human eye perceives it as looking blue.

While the sun produces all light seen on the earth, blue light also emits from digital screens such as mobile phones, computer monitors, laptops, tablets, televisions, LED lights, and fluorescent lights. While the amount of blue light produced by these screens is but a fraction of the amount the sun releases, the time humans spend looking directly at it has health professionals concerned.

How Can Blue Light Affect Children's Eyes?

It’s important to note that while doctors are concerned, there isn’t enough data to determine whether too much blue light is a detriment to the eyesight of children. That said, the excessive use of digital devices is still a relatively recent phenomenon. Children may be more likely than an adult to experience retinal damage from blue light since their eyes take in less short light wavelengths, opening up the path for a higher quantity of blue light to enter the retina. To reduce exposure, establishing healthy screen habits for your kids is essential. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), kids five years old and younger should not exceed an hour of screen time per day. Infants less than a year should avoid screens altogether. In one study, the American Optometrists Association concluded that 83 percent of 10-year-olds to 17-year-olds spend over three hours per day on their devices, while just 40 percent of parents even know about it. That same screen time resulted in eye fatigue, strain, and burning eyes.

It goes without saying that getting your kids away from screens is a good idea. Activities that don’t require a digital device like sports, crafts, or reading are highly encouraged. Spending time outdoors combined with a reduction of devices (especially before bed) may assist your child become healthier and sleep better into the future. 

Children who spend too much time in front of screens may be more likely to develop computer vision syndrome, a kind of eye strain that may bring about symptoms such as vision change, poor posture, headaches, dry eyes, and overall fatigue. Other risks of too much screen time for kids include disruption of the body’s sleep/wake cycle. This can lead to crankiness, sleepiness at school, and health issues.

To help combat the effects of all this screen time, parents can adopt the 20/20/20 rule. Have your child look 20 feet away for 20 seconds after 20 minutes in front of any screen. This will relax the eye muscles and reinvigorate them.

Do Blue Light Glasses for Kids Actually Work?

With all of the screens used by kids today, especially when faced with learning from home, it may be especially difficult to deal with the symptoms of excessive exposure to blue light. Phones, gaming, TV, and computers all seem to be an essential part of life growing up in the USA. If that’s the case with your family, blue blockers may be an option. 

Blue blockers feature a lens coating that can help prevent eye strain caused by exposure to blue light coming from electronic devices and environmental sources. Most blue light glasses are tinted yellow with an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare. You can also arrange for prescription blue light glasses to replace or complement existing lenses.

While blue light reading glasses don’t filter out everything, they are effective to reduce blue light from reaching your kid’s retinas by 80 percent or more. Parents should consider limiting screen time altogether for children and perhaps adopting blue light glasses for them. Parents might also consider picking up some blue light glasses for themselves, too. A big plus with blue light glasses is that they can be worn all day without a negative effect.

Blue light glasses won’t repair eye health by themselves. You’ll still need to monitor your kids to make sure that they take frequent breaks from the screen and keep their computers at a proper viewing distance (more than 20 inches away and around five inches lower than eye level). 

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