Why Biohackn glasses is essential for children?
Long before we were all stuck in our house, digital devices were standard in children's lives. Kids have used TVs, smartphones, gaming devices, and many others for entertainment and communication. We looked at data from multiple organizations worldwide and found that :
- 71 % of children under the age of 12 say that their child began interaction with a smartphone before 12.
- In first-world countries, nearly 1 in 5 parents of a child under 12 said their child has a personal smartphone.
- Children 9 and above use social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram.
- Ten years is the most common age for children to receive their smartphones.
After looking at this data, we were concerned about all the children's health and well-being. Prolonged exposure to devices damages their retina's photosensitive receptors by continually exposing themselves to this high-energy visible blue light from their digital devices. So we designed our kid's collection as a protective intervention, which will help them battle against blue light's harmful effects.
At Biohackn, we are concerned about children's exposure to artificial blue light as children are much more sensitive to blue light effects because their eyes are not fully developed until 15 years of age. In addition, the lens behind the iris that allows us to focus ( crystalline lens ) is more transparent in children, allowing for more significant damage to be caused. Children also naturally have a larger pupil diameter, providing an unprotected environment for this high-energy blue light to pass through.
While blue light suppresses the natural sleep hormone melatonin for everyone, children are susceptible to blue light's Melatonin suppressing effects.
- One study showed that children's melatonin levels are suppressed twice as much compared to adults when exposed to the same light frequencies.
Before reaching puberty, children are more sensitive to Melatonin when compared to older children. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24840814/
- One scientific review that systematically examined and updated the scientific literature on the association between screen time and sleep outcomes among school children took into account 67 studies published from 1999 to early 2014 that more screen time resulted in delayed sleep according to studies 90% of the time. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25193149/
So we then thought filtering and blocking light in the evening is perhaps the answer. However, we were surprised to see data from Norwegian teenagers, which shows us that screen time, even during the day, can negatively impact sleep. One study showed us that using electronic devices even in the day can increase the risk of getting shorter sleep, delay the time it takes for someone to fall asleep, and improve overall sleep loss. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25643702/
As adults, we constantly push ourselves to get more work done and sacrifice it by getting less sleep. However, when it comes to kids, we absolutely cannot take this approach as getting less than recommended sleep impact the way they grow and can result in lower levels of melatonin production for the rest of their lives. Less sleep also means that their ability to focus and learn in school or at work decreases resulting in lower grades and overall dissatisfaction from life.
To investigate this effect on children, we extended our investigation and found data from the Adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) study of more than 11,000 children. After looking at the study, we found :
- Children who reported more than 2 hours a day of screen time got lower scores on thinking and language tests.
- R.I. scans found significant differences in the brains of children who used much digital screen throughout the day. Children with a lot of screen time had a premature thinning of the cortex, which is the brain's outermost layer that processes different information types from our senses.
- Moreover, children who use smartphones at night also show symptoms of early depression.
Our curiosity led us to view data on screen time on pre-school kids by looking at the Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study (CHILD). We found that children who spend more than 2 hours a day on digital devices were at eight times greater risk of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, a common neurodevelopment disorder in childhood. Children with ADHD have trouble paying attention and controlling their impulsive behavior, which often makes them hyperactive.
When we looked into scientific research to improve children's health, we were shocked to see that kids' mental health problems have increased drastically in the last ten years. Children are now prone to depression, anxiety, and even higher rates of suicide in the previous ten years. Do you know what else has increased in the last ten years? Its exposure to blue light that is coming out from devices.
The way blue light harms our children is via the exact mechanisms of circadian rhythm disruption. Exposure to blue light causes children to lack emotions, enthusiasm and often become irritable. Lack of sleep can cause low mood. Multiple studies now show that when kids use their mobile phones after they go to bed, it can trigger suicidal feelings and poor mental health.
Source - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22728900/
As we analyzed a review of multiple studies to look at the relationship between how screen time impacts the health of children, we found that there were associations between screen time and :
- Obesity/weight gain, especially around the abdominal region.
- Higher than usual symptoms of depression.
- Higher energy intake
- Lower healthy diet quality
- anxiety, low cognitive development.
Source - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6326346/
We knew from our research that blue light could damage the eyes in adults. So we then asked ourselves this question: If children are more sensitive than adults, does this put them at a greater risk for eye damage? We hypothesized the answer to be yes; to be sure, we looked at some data on how exposure to electronic screens and games can affect children.
We found that children develop a condition called video game syndrome and Asthenopia, which is a condition that comprises headaches, ticking of eyelids, dizziness, and Vision problems such as transient diplopia.
In 2020 we saw many children use their digital screens to study as many schools have used an online teaching platform. However, when we use our eyes for near-work activities such as reading, writing, we are at a greater risk for myopia ( nearsightedness). Therefore, when kids spend more time at home, they often are not exposed to natural light, and artificial blue light is an increasing cause for nearsightedness in children. Therefore we wanted to find a way to reduce this scattered energy entering our children's retina. Hence we designed our kid's line to effectively reduce the eye strain and harmful blue light affecting our kids' mental and physical performance.
Lastly, we were looking to find a solution to help kids not fall under the trap of getting overweight, obese, or having any metabolic syndromes as they age. we found that there is a link between higher body mass index (B.M.I.) in children who watch Tv.
We have seen that global obesity is on the rise, and currently, 42 million children under the age of 5 are either overweight or obese globally. There can be multiple reasons for childhood obesity; however, at Oli, we took into consideration.
- Decreased physical activity due to playing digital games.
- Variable sleep timing due to constant entertainment activity from digital devices.
- Short sleep duration due to melatonin disruption caused by exposure to blue light.
At Biohackn, we dedicated all of our efforts to biohack the light in our environment. We understand that light is essential for how all the tissues, organs, and cells work via various body clocks. Our kid's collection aims to solve some of the issues which can make children more resilient and enhance not just there but their parent's quality of life.