Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Nursery Lighting May Not Increase Risk of Nearsightedness

continued...

Stone, who wrote in Nature the reply to the two new studies, is professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. He points out that the children he studied are younger and more severely affected. "There's a strong indication that there may be something about light-dark cycles and early-onset myopia," says Stone. Whatever that something may be, it is obscured when researchers look at older children, he says.

Earl L. Smith III, DO, PhD, reviewed the two new studies and the previous one. "Of all three studies, the Zadnik one has the largest subject sample and [is] one that is representative of the general population," he says. "The fact that they find no association [between night-light use and nearsightedness later in childhood] casts some doubt about whether the results of the original study apply to the general population." Smith is associate professor of optometry at the University of Houston College of Optometry.

Smith agrees with the new studies' authors: parents should be reassured that the warning about night-lights that received so much publicity last year needs to be moderated. "That warning?finds no support in these other two studies," he says.

But Stone holds firmly to the cautionary advice he and his colleagues published in their study last year. "Parents can't know if their child is going to be susceptible to something developing early or not, so I don't know why we would say anything different than what we recommended before," he says

Vital Information:

  • Contrary to previous findings, two new studies show there is no association between babies sleeping with a night-light and developing nearsightedness.
  • The new research shows that parents who use night-lights in their children's rooms are more likely to be nearsighted, which would explain why the children are nearsighted as well -- because of genetic predisposition.
  • Researchers from the original study stand by their findings and argue that the new studies looked at older children with less-severe nearsightedness, which could have obscured the results.
1|2

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow