Artificial Light and Kids Development

Studies in adult humans show a decrease in melatonin production when exposed to artificial blue and green light after dark. However, recent studies have shown that the same blue and green light shown to pre-school children after dark suppresses melatonin to almost zero! The ages of the children in the experience were between 3-5 years old. Numerous studies have been conducted in children with respect to light exposure and it appears the younger they are the most sensitive they are to artificial light. The studies, when grouped together also show that lux is also very important. The brightest lights having the most negative impact on melatonin suppression. High lux light is not just found in LED and fluorescent house lights, they are now common place in smart phones and tablets. These two digital devices are now unfortunately a regular feature in a developing pre-school child’s life and they are destroying their health.

Excessive screen time and consequently the excessive exposure to artificial blue light undoubtedly increase the risk of anxiety and depression. These disorders are typically associated with older humans but we are seeing reported issues of these hormonal diseases increase amongst pre-teens and teens across the world.

Cancer and Leukaemia is also on the rise in relatively young people and children. Leukaemia is the most common of childhood cancer and is the increase in growth of white cells in blood. Stem cells that are dysfunctional cause this increase in white cells and recent studies have suggested that stem cells are under circadian control. What this implies is that exposure to too much artificial light after dark is causing lack of sleep which is causing a dysfunction circadian rhythm is our kids which can lead to over production of white cells in the blood by the stem cells which can lead to Leukaemia.

The most vulnerable period for kids is in their early life when it comes to their circadian rhythms, It has even been shown that light exposure at the wrong times of day can also affect the kids in utero. You only have to raise a baby yourself to understand that a baby’s circadian rhythms are not fully formed in utero. However in utero the mother’s exposure to artificial light can disrupt hormone production which could then affect fetal development. Leading on from this I would never expose a child to night lights as they are most susceptible to artificial light and managing their lighting environment correctly will help entrain their circadian rhythms correctly and in line with evolution. Exposure to night lights or light at the wrong time of day can set an infant up for lifelong ill health and even early death.

BLUblox offers both night and day blue light glasses for kids

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