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"Kids' Screen Time Linked to Cancer and Nearsightedness - But Don't Expect Families to Ditch Devices" - Gina Salamone

  • New York Daily News
  • New York, NY
  • (November 18, 2018)

The message is clear from a pair of reports that tie children’s digital dependence to health issues. But doctors warn there’s no need to panic, and some parents have no plans on cutting back on their kids’ screen time at all. In regards to the study that connects nearsightedness to computer game playing, Erin Walsh, MD, co-director of pediatric ophthalmology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, said that the National Eye Institute suggests the current known risk factors for myopic development include not only genetic predisposition to myopia, but also environmental risk factors that are associated with less time spent outdoors and more time spent reading or doing near work. “However, most children can adapt to these changes due to their ease to accommodate or focus without much effort,” Dr. Walsh said. She adds that there’s no evidence “that has been able to scientifically prove” the development of myopia with computer or device use. She adds that, “While we do feel this is important to study, we need further well-designed prospective research to be able to accurately correlate these risk factors and give our parents effective visual counseling.”

— Erin Walsh, MD, Co-Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai

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