top of page

How close should my child be to their screen?

Many parents wonder if their child’s vision is impacted by screen time. Short answer: it is. Studies have shown connections between screen time and nearsightedness, loss of focus flexibility, dry eyes and other issues. Setting limits on screen time is key, as is monitoring how close kids should be to said screens.

The ideal working distance is called the Harmon Distance: it’s the distance from your knuckles to your elbow. For a young child, their arms are shorter thus the distance is shorter, and it grows as they grow. The Harmon Distance works well for worksheets, handheld video games, handheld tablets and phones.

Televisions should be viewed from a minimum of five feet. You can make this more fun by having them lay out two of their body lengths, or a whole yoga-mat away. A reference point such as a coffee table or rug helps the wandering kids know where they need to be behind.

For children who continually inch toward the screen, you can pause or mute the show. This can break their trance and help them realize how close they moved toward the screen.


Brought to you by:

David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD

3015 W 11th Ave, Eugene

1011 Valley River Way Suite 110, Eugene

(541) 342-2201 or 866-4EYELUV |


bottom of page