French health agency says children shouldn’t view 3D games or video

The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) has issued a worrying warning for parents concerning the use of 3D screens.

A report advises that children under the age of six should never view 3D films or play 3D games, while those under the age of 13 are advised to consume such content only in moderation.

The problem, it says, is the increase fatigue caused by "vergence-accommodation conflict" – that relates to the discrepancy between how the eyes naturally behave when viewing distant objects and how they are forced to behave when viewing a distant object on a 3D screen that is actually close to them.

This can result in a range of symptoms including dry eyes, double vision, reduced sensitivity to spatial contrasts and reduced visual acuity as well as dizziness, headaches, neck or back pain and reduced concentration and mental performance.

This is a particular worry for young children whose visual systems are still developing.

ANSES stressed that there is particular concern when a user is situated close to the screen – as is of course the case with Nintendo’s 3DS and virtual reality headsets.

The agency also stresses that further research on the subject is needed.

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