By Catherine Chiang, Angela Ng, Yi Yeung, Gloria Lee & Sunpin Li
It’s a warm Sunday afternoon. Many parents would consider the fine weather as an opportunity to take their children out to the park or go hiking. However, 10 year-old Oswin Lian would rather stay at home. He far prefers playing on his smartphone to outdoor activities.
Oswin is a part of a new generation in Hong Kong that is growing up with all kinds of smart devices at their disposal. They use digital devices for both entertainment and as educational tools.
Oswin’s mother, Tammy Or Ka-bo, explains that over 90 per cent of his homework has to be done on the computer, so he can’t avoid spending long hours on electronic devices.
This increased exposure to electronics has had a detrimental effect on children’s eye-health. A 2015 study by the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong found that 14 per cent of six-year-olds had myopia. This figure is almost doubled for seven-year-olds.