THE NATIONAL health and safety agency is recommending that children under six do not watch 3D films and video games because it could damage their vision as it develops.
The report by Anses recommends that children under the age of six do not watch 3D at all, that under-13s only use it moderately and that adults who have problems with their vision limit their use.
It says watching 3D forces the viewers’ eyes to focus in a different way than they are designed to, which could cause long-term problems in the under-sixes whose visual systems are fragile and still developing.
Symptoms from 3D viewing can include eye fatigue and pain, dry eyes, problems with vision including double vision, reduced sensitivity to special contrasts, reduction of visual accuracy and speed of perception. It can also trigger non-ocular problems including headache, neck, back and shoulder ache, poor performance in mental activities and a loss of concentration. The report also says it could potentially provoke vertigo.
The agency warns viewers to look out for symptoms and suggests limiting screen time to alleviate them. It advises those watching 3D to sit as far away as possible from the screen, use manufacturers’ instructions properly and wear their glasses or contact lenses while watching in 3D.
Anses produced the study as a result of the rapid rise in development of 3D films and games in the last decade, and warnings by manufacturers of 3D technology, including Nintendo, against use by children. Anses recommended further research into the use of 3D and screen use in general, given the lack of data so far.