Just as the the TV remote and phone are saturated with germs, having a healthy iPad is something to pay attention to as well. With kids using our (and their own) devices more than ever, we need to make sure we are thinking about their health. Here are three health concerns to be aware of and some good habits to get into for your health and theirs.
Thinking about what your phone feels like after your child has a serious play session is…well…just gross. Now this summer when school is out and the kids come over and start creating artwork or doing a scavenger hunt, you are going to want to a good way to clean up your screens.
Besides a healthy routine of washing hands before and after using the device, make sure you keep rubbing alcohol easily accessible. Yes! Just rubbing alcohol and water; no expensive wipes needed. Pick up the $1 squirt bottles from the travel section of Target and mix water and rubbing alcohol together for an easy way to clean all your devices. Just squirt on a towel, wipe and you’re done!
Eye strain is a tricky one, because we really don’t know how these devices are affecting kids eyes. The good news is that the new iPad’s retina display is supposed to reduce eye strain. For families with heavy device use, I recommend thinking about what is being advised for adults and then make appropriate choices based on your child’s reactions and needs.
Posture is very important; making sure that your child is building good habits early is critical. When watching app video reviews I’ve noticed how children are often leaning head down, neck strained over the device. Take time to watch your child and see if their shoulders are slouched and forward or upright and back.
Healthy iPad Tips
- Plan a five minute break after your child has played for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you probably want to put the device away for awhile, but if your child plays for longer make sure they take a break from the device.
- Make sure you get your child’s eyes checked every other year, as is recommended by the American Optometric Association (AOA). Ask your classroom teacher when they are doing eye testing at school. If you are concerned about your child’s vision make sure to talk to your child’s teacher and ask for him to do some extra observations for you.
My suggestion? Make sure your child balances time on the device with time running around the backyard, engaging in free play with their non-device toys, or going for a walk through the neighborhood.