Most of the time, a lot of attention is paid to your child’s physical health, and rightly so. However, make sure that you’re caring for their eye health as well. Here are a few simple tips to help them maintain healthy eyes:
- Eat a balanced diet. Vitamin A is very healthy for eyes. Carotene is an antecedent for this important vitamin and can be found in carrots, papayas, and mangoes. Green and red leafy vegetables are also good for healthy eyes.
- Limit screen time. Staring at a computer screen – or any digital screen – for extended periods of time can cause eye exhaustion. To avoid this, screens should be viewed at a little lower than eye level when in use, but should not be viewed for long hours. On a related note, children should not watch television at too close a distance (a safe distance is considered to be a minimum of three and a half meters) or in a dim room.
- Give eyes a rest. In addition to limiting screen time, encourage your kids to take a break every 20-30 minutes when studying and reading. Not doing so can cause eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, or even nearsightedness.
- Avoid rubbing eyes. In general, children should avoid touching their eyes at all. Rubbing eyes can cause germs to spread and lead to infections. Remind kids to wash their hands regularly to further reduce the spreading of bacteria and diseases.
- Get regular eye exams. Many eye conditions do not present symptoms until they are at a more advanced stage. Seeing your optometrist annually can help to catch any problems while they are still in early stages and are more easily treated.
- Wear protective eyewear when playing sports. According to the National Eye Institute, most eye injuries among kids aged 11 to 14 occur while playing sports. Eyewear such as goggles or a helmet-mounted eye/face shield should become part of your child’s set of sports equipment. Set an example for the kids by wearing them when you play sports yourself.
- Use high E-SPF glasses. Just as your skin needs protection from the sun, so do your eyes. A lot of activities that children are involved in take place outside, exposing them to the sun’s harmful UV rays, which can, over time, lead to a variety of eye problems such as cataracts. Protective glasses can help encourage good eye health.