8 Important Eyecare Tips for Children | Pediatric Eyecare
Good eye health and vision are essential to ensure your child’s normal development and overall quality of life. Eye and vision problems can affect your child’s ability to experience the world around them and learn, preventing them from reaching their highest potential. That’s why proper pediatric eye care comes in.
Caring for and teaching your child about proper eye care habits helps keep their eyes and vision in perfect condition in the long run. It also helps detect and prevent injuries and eye problems like glaucoma and vision loss.
Pediatric Eyecare Tips for Children
Regarding caring for and improving your child’s eye health, below are 8 eye care tips for kids to keep in mind.
- Provide an eye-health diet.
Good nutrition is crucial to your child’s eye health and overall well-being. Essential nutrients for eye health include vitamins A, C, and E, lutein, zinc, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids. Excellent sources for these nutrients include leafy greens and yellow vegetables like kale and spinach, eggs, fruits like oranges, strawberries, mangoes, fish, and nuts.
- Use the right eyewear or protection.
According to research, 90% of pediatric eye injuries are preventable. Since children are more active, it’s easier for them to hurt their eyes. When engaging in high-risk physical activities like hockey, swimming, carpentry, and riding bicycles, ensure your child wears the necessary protective eyewear, such as safety goggles, helmets, UV sunglasses, and more.
Ensure the eyewear is safe, quality, and meets the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards. Also, remove any hazardous tools or debris around the children’s playground.
- Stay hydrated.
Proper hydration is essential for your child’s eye health and overall well-being. Enough hydration prevents dry eyes and helps in the cleaning of the eyes. Experts recommend that children should drink at least four glasses of water daily. However, the specific amount of water for your child will depend on their age, location, diet, level of physical activity, and weather conditions.
- Use eyeglasses or contact lenses accurately.
Children need to be more careful with eyewear. Unfortunately, if used wrongfully, eyeglasses and contact lenses can hurt their eyes, causing discomfort, irritation, and other complications. Teach and help your child wear eyewear correctly and at the right time. For instance, they should remove the glasses or lenses when sleeping or playing games. For more information about prescription glasses and lenses, speak with our children’s optometrist in Scarborough.
- Rest their eyes.
Starring at books and school boards all day, followed by watching TV or playing video games at home, can result in eye strain, myopia, and other eye conditions. To prevent eye strain, ensure your child spends time on activities that don’t require intense eye focusing, like playing outdoors with friends, dancing, listening to music with eyes closed, and going to the park. Also, be sure your child gets sufficient sleep to allow the eyes to rest.
- Limit screen use.
An increase in screen use is a key reason for eye problems like myopia in children and adults. As digital learning and devices like mobile phones, tablets, and computers become more common, there’s a higher risk of many screen hours. Unfortunately, extended screen use can lead to digital eye strain, dry eyes, eye irritation, focusing issues, blurred vision, headaches, and other eye problems.
To care for your child’s eyes, try to limit their time on screens. Encourage them to get involved in outdoor activities like sports and riding bicycles. When using digital devices or screens, ensure the child takes frequent breaks and looks at a distance to rest their eyes. Similarly, always keep screens 18 – 24 inches from their eyes.
- Look for warning signs.
Be on the lookout for potential eye or vision problems affecting your child. Common signs and symptoms to watch out for include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Disinterest in distant objects
- Head tilting
- Eye rubbing
- Holding objects very close to the eyes
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Disinterest in viewing distant objects
- Difficulty reading from school boards
- Using digital screens or devices close to the eyes
Visit a children’s eye doctor near you right away if you notice your child has these or other symptoms.
- Have routine eye exams
Even if your child’s eye health and vision are in perfect condition, routine eye exams are essential to check for early symptoms of eye issues. When caught early, most eye problems are easy to correct and reverse. If left undiagnosed and untreated for longer, eye issues can affect your child’s development, learning, and overall quality of life. Visit our child eye clinic in Scarborough, ON, for regular pediatric eye exams.
Ensure your child’s eyes and vision are cared for using the tips discussed above. Contact Dr. Allyson Tang, Optometrist – Scarborough, for more information about pediatric eye care.