Coronavirus Update from China: Online learning at home raises concerns over myopia risk: survey

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Asian college student working on laptop when sitting outdoors

BEIJING — A survey showed that 92.8 percent of parents are worried about their children’s eyesight as their children are learning online at home amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, China Youth Daily reported Thursday.

The survey polled 2,425 parents of students of primary and secondary schools.

Excessive screen time and a lack of outdoor activities represent the greatest threats to children’s eyesight, as schools shift classes online and require students to study at home, said the interviewed parents.

Some respondents said their children would watch TV or play mobile games after completing their online courses.

The survey showed 95.1 percent of the respondents would guide their children to take care of their eyes, including asking them to have a rest after learning for some time and limiting their use of electronic products.

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Some parents said the teachers of their children remind students about eye safety via online group chats.

In regard to better protecting children’s eyesight, 75.7 percent of respondents advised moving part of the classes or assignments offline to reduce screen time, 69.9 percent hoped that teachers would guide students to do physical exercises, and 44.8 percent suggested adding pop-up reminders of eyesight protection to online course platforms.

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