3D technology ‘harmful to children’ claims French watchdog

Children under six should not be allowed to access content in 3D, according to a French health watchdog, as the technology may be harmful to their vision.

The Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) also recommended that access to 3D should also be limited up to the age of 13.

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This recommendation is one of the first of its kind, as many countries currently have no set guidelines about the use of 3D in the home. According to ANSES, 3D images may have a detrimental effect on the development of the eyes of young children.

To create a 3D effect, a person must look at images in two separate places at the same time. The brain then combines the two images to create a singular one.

"In children, and particularly before the age of six, the health effects of this vergence-accommodation conflict could be much more severe given the active development of the visual system at this time," ANSES said in a statement, according to the BBC.

3D glasses have also been restricted in Italy, where the government acted on similar warnings from its health service last year. It is not the first time that questions have been raised about the safety of the technology.

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Games company Nintendo warned users in 2010 that playing games on its new 3DS video console might damage the eyesight of children under six.

The American Optometric Association, however, has previously stated that it has had no reports of eye damage as a result of viewing 3D content.