How to Keep Kids From Holding Phones Too Close to Their Eyes

Ben Stegner 27-04-2016

Years ago, parents warned kids not to sit too close to the TV because it would harm their eyes. Now, the ubiquitous nature of smartphones mean that screens are in front of us most of the day, and most of us need to rest our eyes from too much screen time 7 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Rest Your Eyes Staying healthy includes caring for the eyes. Vision related health problems are a real lifestyle ailment and our digital habits are promoting. The cure lies in thoughtful use of the screen. Read More .


If your young children use your phone, part of your phone’s child-proofing process The Best Accessories to Child-Proof Your Smartphone Planning to hand your phone to your kids? Here are the best accessories to child-proof and protect your Android device. Read More should include a new free Android app from Samsung called Samsung Safety Screen [No Longer Available]. The app is simple but important: it uses the device’s front camera to detect if a face is too close to the screen.

When a kid is holding the device right up to his head, the app pops up and reminds him to increase the distance.

Thankfully, you can password protect the app so kids don’t just disable it and go on their merry way. You might find this app to be overkill, and it won’t be battery-friendly since it needs to constantly access the camera, but for those with young ones concerned about their screen time, it’s worth a shot.

Of course, this app is no substitute for proper parental supervision. Kids often find ways to bypass parental security 7 Ways Your Children Might Bypass Parental Control Software Just because you've installed a safety net in parental control software doesn't mean your children won't find a way to navigate through it. Here's how they'll do it! Read More , so even the passcode on this app might not be enough.


You might even consider using the app yourself if you have a tendency to hold you phone right up to your face, especially if you often use your phone in bed or are nearsighted.

Let us know if you find this app to be useful, or share other ways you keep young children from viewing the screen too closely, in the comments!

Image Credit: Khakimullin Aleksandr via

Related topics: Health, Parental Control.

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  1. sml156
    April 27, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    Sitting too close to the TV does not cause blindness it's a symptom of blindness.

  2. Mr_Know-It-All
    April 27, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    Hello, all.
    What about CANCER?
    Especially among the YOUNG!
    This why the web needs an EDITOR.

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbors!

    • Ben Stegner
      April 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      I think everything causes cancer...

  3. Tectas
    April 27, 2016 at 10:57 am

    The myth of eye damage while staying to close to the screen has been debunked some times already afaik.
    Not to mention, if it would be true VR would kill your eyes pretty fast.
    The problem is eye strain and dry eyes not the proximity to the device. An app that shuts down the screen for a short time, to give them a rest, after a given amount of staring at the screen would be way more useful.