Computer Vision Syndrome: Can Tech Harm Your Family’s Vision?

Last updated on May 4th, 2020 at 12:13 pm

*Editor’s Note: Given the extensive amount of time many of our families are spending “sheltering in place”, it seemed like the right time to revisit MomRN’s article on Computer Vision Syndrome. Stay Safe Everyone!

Computer vision syndrome symptomsIn today’s technological society, most of us have become accustomed to using multiple devices that have screens – televisions, computer monitors, tablets, smartphones, hand-held gaming consoles, and the list goes on.

And as the number of screen devices has increased, so has our time spent staring at these devices. It’s not unusual to spend several hours of each day looking at these various screens and this has led to concerns about what affect all this screen time may be having on our vision…and on our kid’s vision.

Could your technology harm your vision? I was asked to address this concern on Fox 23’s Great Day Green Country.

According to the American Optometric Association, the vision problems associated with Computer Vision Syndrome or Digital Eye Strain can be reduced or possibly even prevented by “taking steps to control lighting and glare on the device screen, establishing proper working distances and posture for screen viewing, and assuring that even minor vision problems are properly corrected”. For more information, see their article on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of Computer Vision Syndrome here.

STOP! You’re Stressed, But Please Don’t Shake A Child

Last updated on May 4th, 2020 at 11:48 am

The day dawned at 6:00 a.m. with a diaper change and feeding. You were up several times through the night either changing, feeding or both. You are still trying to get used to having a newborn in the house- trying to get used to not sleeping through the night. A good solid night’s sleep sure would be welcomed. The first couple of weeks you were able to catch a nap in the afternoon and that helped. Lately though it seems the baby is crying most of the afternoon and evening. It is just after lunch and it is finally quiet- perhaps time for a few precious moments of sleep. God please just a few moments sleep. Your eyes close and sleep begins to take over.

The screaming starts from the crib next to you- startling you awake. God all I wanted was a little sleep- is that too much to ask. Yesterday she cried for four straight hours. She just could not be comforted- she just would not STOP. “I can’t go through this again today.” Desperation rises- so too does anger. With just a few steps you are at the crib…the screaming seems louder…you pick up your baby…the anger grows…the desperation…with tears streaming down your face… you would do anything to get the crying to stop…you cry out, stop…please stop…why won’t you stop crying.

Your anger, your fear and your tone are reflected in the baby. The crying gets worse, grows louder, more shrill. Barely aware of your actions you begin to shake your precious child.

STOP-Don’t Do It.

Shaken Baby Syndrome is the name given to a variety of signs, symptoms and behaviors. Shaking a crying child can lead to blindness, lethargy, permanent developmental disability, seizures and death. Shaking a baby is a crime. It may be inflicted by males or females though most often by males. All babies cry and understanding this is often helpful. That a baby cries does not equal bad parenting- not even unrelenting seemingly inconsolable crying. In the past such crying has been called colic. To many, colic sounds like a disease or an illness and the name does not lead to understanding. Now many are referring to this as the PURPLE period. The PURPLE period may begin at 2-3 weeks old and may last until 3 or 4 months of age.

PURPLE stands for:

P: Peak of Crying- again perhaps beginning at 2-3 weeks and lasting till age 3-4 months

U: Unexpected and you don’t know why

R: Resists Soothing

P: Pain like face- appearing as though they are in pain though they really are not

L: Long lasting- perhaps up to 5 hours in one day

E: May cry more in the late afternoon or early Evening.

Many hospitals are providing training to new parents on crying as well as methods to manage both the baby and the stress. They are also providing education about the dangers and hazards of shaking a baby. There are many ways to cope but when the stress and frustration get to the level where an injury may occur:

  • Take the baby to a grandparent or responsible neighbor. *Understandably during the COVID-19 quarantines this is more difficult, so…
  • Get away – walk out – even if it just outside the door. It is better to move out of earshot than it is to harm the child.
  • If you are a grandparent, friend or coworker of a new parent let them know you are willing to help or at least, that you are willing to listen. If you are a parent yourself- tell them you went though some pretty bad times- help them understand they are not alone. Look into hospitals that offer training and education on crying and shaken baby syndrome. Talk to your pediatrician, obstetrician or personal doctor.
  • Here are some additional things you can do to help you relax and get rid of your frustration and anger

Take action before tragedy strikes.

For more information please go to:

Thumb Sucking or Pacifiers – What Can a Parent to Do?

Last updated on May 4th, 2020 at 11:48 am

The most popular argument, in the debate between thumb sucking and pacifiers, is that the pacifier can be taken away if the child seems to be developing a prolonged habit. While this point is valid, some children may develop a prolonged habit of thumb sucking after the pacifier is taken away anyway. Another argument is that the use of orthodontic pacifiers may lessen the chance of dental problems. However, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states that all pacifiers and thumb sucking affect teeth the same way. Some of these issues may include malocclusion and affected speech. Malocclusion is a misalignment of teeth or incorrect relation between the teeth of the two dental arches. Prolonged thumb sucking and pacifiers can cause the front teeth to be pushed out and forward. This position is called an overbite as the child’s jaw is altered from a U to a V shape. Orthodontic treatment is the only way this can be corrected.

Since the American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS recommendations have found pacifiers have helped “reduce the risk of SIDS”, only offering a pacifier at naptime or at bedtime is one good way to lessen the chances of it becoming a habit. Keep in mind that thumb/finger sucking is completely normal and that most children give it up by age two. Every child is different and you can’t guarantee whether your child will prefer one over the other. The only “problem” is when the act becomes prolonged.

Some helpful tips to help stop the habit:

  1. Distract your child. If thumb sucking is the issue, find an activity that requires the use of both hands. Holding a book at nap time is one option.
  2. Develop a game. Use a secret signal that only you and your child know to signal when they have put a thumb or pacifier in their mouth. The act is sometimes done unconsciously and a helpful, fun reminder might do the trick.
  3. Use your Pediatrician or Dentist to reinforce the need to stop. Children often see these people as authoritative figures and may be more apt to listen.
  4. Make them feel like it’s their idea. “Giving” old pacifiers to the needy or younger babies make them feel proud and helpful.

What about you? What tips have worked for your little one?