Despite Singapore being known as the myopia capital of the world, there still exist misconceptions about childhood myopia.

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Screen time continues to increase among children in Singapore as the country’s circuit breaker progresses. The rise in device screen time poses a myriad of vision health consequences which is why it’s more important than ever to protect our little ones’ eye health.

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A study found that children who spent more than 3 hours a day on screens spent less time on physical activity. The researchers caution parents against prolonged screen time and encourage more physical activity away from the screens.

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With Home-Based Learning (HBL) measures in place, our children’s screen time is only going to increase tenfold. Instead of purely focusing on the time spent on the screen, parents should also focus on screen quality and who they’re using the screens with.

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Researchers from Cardiff and Bristol universities have recently discovered a genetic test that could screen for severe myopia. This is especially important for children as parents can then seek appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

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Smartphone addiction has been linked to some extremely detrimental effects on pertinent areas of the brain. The research conducted also discovered that spending too much time using smartphones can alter the areas that control emotion and decision-making.

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As we begin to grapple with the global pandemic that is COVID-19, stay-home notices and school closures have increasingly become the norm.

It’s important we take note of our children’s screen time as we continuously adapt to the new changes that take place. While screen time can serve as an easy solution to past the time, it shouldn’t be the only solution. Parents should continue to monitor their children’s screen time amidst the evolving situation.

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South Korean teenagers are checking themselves in to a cellphone detox center to curb their smartphone addiction.

A survey conducted by South Korea’s National Information Society Agency on 4886 adolescents found that 34% of them found it difficult to concentrate with a smartphone nearby. In these detox centers, adolescents go through counselling, meditation practices, and participate in device-free activities like sporting events and arts and crafts.

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Letting a toddler spend lots of time using screens may delay their development of skills such as language and sociability, according to a large Canadian study.

The research, which tracked nearly 2,500 two-year-olds, is the latest piece of evidence in the debate about how much screen time is safe for kids.

In Canada and the US, experts say children should not use screens before they are at least 18 months old.

But UK guidelines set no such limit. 

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health says there is not enough evidence, even when you include this new study, for a “direct toxic effect”.

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Giving your child extra time on the iPad for good behaviour may not be the best idea according to a new University of Guelph study.

Researchers found children, whose parents dole out screen time as a reward or revoke it as punishment, spend more time on a smartphone, tablet, computer or in front of the television than children whose parents don’t.

“It’s similar to how we shouldn’t use sugary treats as rewards because by doing so we can heighten the attraction to them,” said family relations and applied nutrition professor Jess Haines, who worked on the study with Lisa Tang. “When you give food as a reward it makes children like the carrot less and the cake more. Same thing with screen time.”

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