Do 3-D Video Games Harm Children’s Eyes?

child with handheld game

image via cdc.gov

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has published a statement regarding the use of handheld 3-D games by children under age 6.

Nintendo recently started warning parents that young children could compromise their vision if they look at the 3-D games for long periods.  The AAO does not seem to think that warning is completely warranted:

At this time there are no conclusive studies on the short- and/or long-term effects of 3-D digital products on eye and visual development, health, or function in children, nor are there persuasive, conclusive theories on how 3-D digital products could cause damage in children with healthy eyes. The development of normal 3-D vision in children is stimulated as they use their eyes in day-to-day social and natural environments, and this development is largely complete by age three years.  Source:  AAO

Editor’s Note: Rather than worry about whether your young kids’ video games should contain 3-D graphics, why not get them to play outside instead?  A 2009 study comparing Australian children to children from Singapore showed that the Australian kids, who spent a lot more time outdoors were dramatically less likely to suffer from myopia or nearsightedness.