The Headaches of E-learning: A Symptoms Checklist for Remote Learning From a Spine Expert Every Parent Should Have by Dr. Colin Haines, Spine Surgeon

The Headaches of E-learning: A Symptoms Checklist for Remote Learning From a Spine Expert Every Parent Should Have

Distance learning is in full swing and kids may be feeling physical and emotional strain. They’re sitting for extended periods, staring at a screen all day. Even adults complain about endless Zoom calls, now our kids are in the same predicament. So how much is too much for our kids, and what are the signs we should watch for? Here's a symptoms checklist and a guide to create a healthy workspace for your child:

  • Headaches: If your child is complaining of headaches during remote learning, make sure they are taking frequent breaks. Our bodies need to move to thrive. Walk around the house. Stretch! Stress can cause headaches for adults and children alike, and as the coronavirus pandemic wears on us, the stress takes a toll on our health.
  • Eye Strain: Digital eye strain results from too much time looking at a screen. Symptoms include dry, itchy eyes and blurry vision. Your child might describe a “burning sensation.” The American Association of Ophthalmology recommends frequent blinking and following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds to let the eyes reset.
  • Neck Pain or Stiffness: Looking down at a screen is a recipe for neck pain. But you don’t need to break the bank! Stack some books or cardboard box – both great ways to raise the viewing height of your screen or tablet. Pillows can help promote good posture if your child is using a chair that might be too big for them.
  • Nerve Damage: Many children use tablets for virtual learning but no keyboard. Using a separate wireless keyboard and wireless mouse at the right height where forearms and hands are level and straight can help prevent nerve pain from hands up to the neck and shoulder. Huge plus if the keyboard and mouse fit their hands.
  • Lower Back Pain: Long days in front of a device are challenging on the lower back, especially when you don't have the right equipment. Lumbar support is your friend! Try a simple rolled up towel. Both feet on the floor will support the spine while seated. Consider a step stool or a sturdy box for extra support.
  • Maintain Consistent Bedtime Routines: That can help keep everyone feeling their best. If your child is yawning or seems disengaged, take a break, get outside – fresh air and vitamin D are magic! 

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

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Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
This is so very helpful. With adults suffering from nerve damage because of computer usage, I can only imagine what it's going to be like for kids. A whole new generation, growing up on screens. We have to take care of our kids. Thank you for shining a light on this, Dr. Colin Haines, Spine Surgeon . Welcome to 30Seconds. We look forward to learning more from you!
Mike Prochaska
We take ALOT of breaks to walk the dog. E
Cassiday
Schedules and consistency help so much.

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