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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the study was to analyse the use of digital devices among children.

Materials/Methods

A specially designed questionnaire was distributed to 249 schoolchildren to assess their use of digital devices both in school and outside school. The questionnaire was used before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The children were asked about the extent of their use of digital devices, as well as about ophthalmic and general health complaints. Their responses were assessed statistically.

Results

Regarding age distribution, 145 children were between seven and 10 years old when they started to use digital devices. Most of the children used a digital device for between one and two hours a day. The majority preferred using smartphones. The second most popular devices were laptops and tablets, and the third most popular was the desktop computer. Fifty-six children wore glasses, 14 to correct hyperopia and 42 to correct myopia. 97 children spent between one and two hours a day outdoors; 99 children spent more than two hours outdoors; and 51 spent less than one hour outdoors. 71 children reported eye problems; 48 reported other general health problems (back and neck pain); and 43 mentioned blurred vision while using a digital device.

Conclusions

The use of digital devices can be regarded as general among schoolchildren, and most children use a digital device for longer than the recommended time. Excessive use of digital devices may contribute to an increase in the prevalence of myopia and other general eye and back problems.

Open access