As a four year old, one thing I really wanted to do was to wear glasses. Both my parents wore them, and copycat that I was, I wanted to join them!! Of course they thought I was crazy, but it looked so grown up and important. A few years later, I got my wish and was blessed with glasses which have kept me company for more than two decades now!!
However, as a parent, you might want to avoid glasses for your child as long as you can, helping him maintain good eyesight naturally. There are many things you can do to ensure good vision in your child, even when they haven’t been born yet! Read on for more tips on protecting your child’s eyesight.
5 Eye Care Tips For Kids
Like we said earlier, care for your child’s eyes begins right from pregnancy. Eat a diet rich in healthy fats, including foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts and fatty fish like salmon and tuna. These contain nutrients that are also passed through breast milk. Encourage your kids to eat these too, along with carrots, broccoli, spinach and bell peppers. If they resist, ask them if they’ve ever seen a rabbit with glasses!! Here are some great ideas for food for good eyesight.
TV and Computer
To be honest, there hasn’t been any scientific evidence so far linking increased TV viewing to vision problems. But the fact is that more and more children seem to be wearing glasses, and this is more pronounced in developed countries, which points to some kind of correlation between eyesight and electronics. It is proven that watching TV in low light can strain the eyes, and that staring at a screen for too long without blinking can cause dry eyes. Also, small cell phone screens can cause them to squint. In any case, it’s better to stay safe and limit the use of these gadgets, or to at least avoid using them for a long time at a stretch.
Sports and Outdoors
The water in swimming pools is heavily chlorinated, which can cause irritation to the eyes. So make sure your little swimming champ always wears goggles in the pool. Another important cause of eye damage is the sun – make your child wear a hat and sunglasses with UV protection when outdoors in summers. Monsoons pose a different threat; that of eye infections. Tell them to avoid touching their eyes unnecessarily to prevent the spread of germs.
Eye exercises have been found to be beneficial in relieving tension in the eyes as well as preventing dry eyes. Kids are sure to find this fun to do – and they look hilarious while doing them too!! This video shows how to improve eyesight with some easy exercises that anyone can do.
Ask your child to hold his head still and use his eyes to follow the movement of the circle on the screen. Another website, Eye Can Learn, also offers eye exercises in tracking and visual perception, which are suitable for a wide age group.
Some babies are born with squints, and in many cases it goes away on its own. If not, your doctor will suggest the right treatment. Sight problems in children are mostly identified by obvious markers like standing too close to the TV, inability to read signs that are placed high, holding books too close to the eyes, mistakes in school work, or just plain complaints of ‘I can’t see that!’. Other symptoms include redness and watering of the eyes, headaches or turning the head to one side so that he basically sees with one eye, causing a condition called ‘lazy eye’.
Maintaining eye health is extremely important since nearly 80% of what kids learn is through their eyes. Any vision problem should be brought to the attention of your doctor, and it’s best to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist. Remember to follow the doctor’s instructions; else you could end up with a bigger problem on your hands.
Start with regular eye checkups by age 3, and then once a year if there are no vision problems. Children respond better to treatment the earlier they are diagnosed, so if you haven’t already, make that appointment now!!