The vision of primary and secondary school children in China is deteriorating faster due to too much screen time during summer holidays, according to a recent survey conducted by a state media newspaper.

Around 68.6% of 1,989 parents with primary or secondary school aged children responded to the latest survey commissioned by the China Youth Daily. They said their sons and daughters have poorer vision particularly after summer holidays, and eight out of 10 respondents put the blame on unlimited use of digital products, the Paper reported.

Among them, 72.6% of the respondents said their children already suffered from shortsightedness, 61.5% of which had been diagnosed with mild myopia, while 11.1% had moderate or high myopia.

Junior secondary pupils were the most noticeable group with worsening vision, according to their parents’ observation.

The top causes of sight deterioration included playing games on mobile phones (87.0%), followed by computer usage (67.6%) and playing video games (63.9%).

A father surnamed Bi from Hebei province said his son, who would be promoted to the final year of junior secondary this September, had enrolled in several after- school tutorial classes. After so much hard work, his son would further strain his  eyes by playing mobile games.

A teacher from Beijing said that more than two-thirds of her students are already wearing glasses, and some had requested sitting nearer to the blackboard after every long vacation as they could not see clearly.

Tang Zhisong, Dean and Professor at the Education Research Institute of Southwest University, said parents and schools should arrange reasonable learning time for children to prevent eye strain.

He also said that during long holidays, parents should discuss the proper use of digital products with their children. Parents should control vision distance, posture and resting time. They should also arrange some outdoor activities to reduce the length of time their children spend using electronic devices, to protect their vision.