12 Ways You Can Help Your Child Develop Healthy Vision
Your child’s eye health and vision are critical components of their overall development. Luckily there are several easy and simple ways you can help to protect their eyesight and ensure complete visual development.
Here are 12 ways you can help your child with their vision and eye health.
Give Your Child An Eye-Healthy Diet
Great eye development starts from the inside. Eating well-balanced, highly nutritious foods is the best way to get your child’s eyesight to develop properly. Foods high in zinc, vitamin C, Vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids are all important for eye health. These eye-healthy foods help to strengthen the eye tissue, repair it faster after damage, and help prevent infection.
Get Enough Sleep
A good night’s sleep refreshes the entire body including the eyes. Sleep is good for their eye development and ensures their vision is crisp and clear.
Children should get outside and play for numerous reasons, including good development of their eyesight. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Kids who spent at least 40 minutes outside per day “lowered their risk of getting myopia or more severe myopia (stronger prescription/eyeglasses). The kids who spent more time indoors (reading or on their computer devices) were more likely to get myopia or severe myopia. that playing outside can reduce the chances of eye problems like myopia.”
The bright colors and depth of field kids experience in an outdoor environment is a great challenge for their eyes and gives them something else to focus on other than a screen.
Just make sure their eyes are protected by using UVA/UVB sunglasses while playing outside.
Limit Their Screen Time
Modern technology and connectivity have led to an exponential increase in screen time. This increased screen time has been proven to negatively affect the eyesight of both children and adults. Excessive screen time contributes to blurred vision, eye strain, dry eyes and irritated eyes, headaches, and sleeping issues.
Try to limit the screen time for your children, especially in the hours before bedtime. Use an antiglare screen protector and take frequent breaks from their screens.
Get Them Regular Eye Checks
Just like seeing the pediatrician or the dentist, children need regular eye examinations to ensure healthy eyes and to test their vision. It’s important for you to know if your child is experiencing eye issues or having trouble seeing clearly. Many times, eye conditions are silent!
An optometrist can detect early warning signs of disease before they become serious issues, as well as test your child’s vision to see if they may need glasses.
Protect Their Eyes From The Sun
When your kids are playing outside, make sure their eyes are protected from the sun. Just as sunscreen protects their skin, wearing sunglasses is extremely important to shield your child’s eyes from the sun’s damaging UV rays.
Keep Them Clean
Teaching your child to wash their hands and avoid touching their eyes protects them from infection and disease. While you may not be able to always stop them from touching their face and eyes, clean hands are less likely to harbor harmful germs, bacteria, and viruses that can affect eye health.
Play With Eye-Safe Toys
Choking hazards aren’t the only reason toys come with age ranges printed on the box. When children are young, everything goes in their mouth which is dangerously close to their eyes. Toys are a frequent cause of eye trauma in children. Make sure your children only play with toys that adhere to recommended safety guidelines no matter what age they are.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Dehydration can lead to many health problems including problems with dry, irritated, and sore eyes as well as vision impairments. Teach your child the importance of drinking enough water and make sure they always have a portable water bottle nearby.
Use Safety Eye Wear
Many eye injuries occur during playtime and sport. Protecting your child’s eyes with strong eyewear reduces the chances of trauma from impacts. Make sure they wear protection during sports activities or when they’re around household chemicals or engaged with activities like science experiments.
Challenge Their EyeSight
You can help your child develop better eyesight with a variety of affordable activities designed to stimulate and challenge their vision. From black and white images at birth to bright colors and shapes as a toddler, there are endless ways to stimulate your child’s vision and help it develop. Modern technology has a variety of educational and stimulating apps, just remember to limit screen time especially before bedtime.
Set A Good Example
Our children mimic everything we do. It’s up to you to ensure your child is protected by setting a good example. From eating properly to wearing eye protection when outside, to scheduling regular eye exams, you have tremendous influence over your child’s eye health and development.
Invest in your child’s future by protecting and supporting their eye health. Call Prairie Eye Care to schedule an eye exam for your child today.