Smartphone, tablet use may cause nearsightedness among kids: study

A student working on a Snappet tablet (photo: Snappet)A student working on a Snappet tablet (photo: Snappet)

Tablet and smartphone use can lead to nearsightedness among children, according to a study by Erasmus MC. The researchers monitored 1,000 Rotterdam children for years. At age 13 a quarter of them were near sighted, compared to 2.5 percent at age 6, RTL Nieuws reports.

Eyesight problems therefore increased over the years. Smartphones and tablets may be behind it, the researchers believe. The researchers assume that similar figures apply to children in the rest of the Netherlands. Looking at nearby objects for prolonged periods is bad for the eyes. 

Erasmus researcher Jan Roelof Polling calls on parents to make agreements with their kids about their smartphone and tablet use. "For example: we spend 20 minutes on the phone, then we look in the distance for 20 minutes, so that our eyes do something different."