In focus: Weak data leaves public in the dark over screen time

The rapid development of myopia in a two-year-old girl in China has put the spotlight back on the screen time debate, with UK health bodies more reluctant that their international counterparts to set limits. Sean Rai-Roche investigates

Concerns surrounding children’s screen time use have re-emerged after a two-year-old child in China was diagnosed with severe myopia following excessive mobile phone use.

According to reports, Xiao Man, from Jiangsu province, was recently told she needed glasses to correct visual acuity of -9.0D.

Reports in the Chinese media said her parents were not strict with her screen use and, from the age of one, allowed her to use a mobile phone to watch TV shows for long periods of time. They later noticed she was squinting, frowning and rubbing her eyes a lot. After taking her to the doctor she was diagnosed, with the parents being told the condition was irreversible and would likely worsen as she grew up.

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