Small screen time is affecting kids' depth perception, says Nikki Bush

Creative parenting expert Nikki Bush says a modern lifestyle could be causing problems with your child's visual system that you may be unaware of.

The increasing amount of time being spent looking at small screens for instance, has a detrimental effect.

Read: Kids glued to digital screens may suffer eye strain

Our children's depth perception, their ability to work at different depths of field, is not quite as strong as it used to be.

Nikki Bush, Creative parenting expert

And that standard vision chart used by optometrists? It was developed in 1892 and picks up only 5% of visual problems, she says.

'20/20 vision' is completely different to having full binocular vision - that means that both the eyes work well together The optometrist will talk about the eyes being able to 'team'... to converge together, to focus together.

Nikki Bush, Creative parenting expert

In a lot of children, that is underdeveloped.

Nikki Bush, Creative parenting expert

Bush says it's recommended for kids to have eye tests from the age of three, not only to be tested for the vision chart, but to have a full binocular vision assessment.

She says it's important to pick up problems at a young age while the brain is still elastic.

With some simple eye exercises as well as perhaps some glasses for a year or two, you can actually correct a lot of those things.

Nikki Bush, Creative parenting expert

Then, she points out, children will have more energy to focus on what's important in the classroom.

Discussing the red flags to look out for, Bush highlights simple gross motor indicators for possible visual system problems - trying to kick a ball and repeatedly missing for instance, or fear of going down a slide or climbing a jungle gym.

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