How to Make Sure Your Child’s Eyes Are Healthy and Happy
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By Anita Ginsburg
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. You want them to be safe, healthy, and happy. When it comes to their health, one important area to pay attention to is their eyesight. Good vision is essential for your child’s development and overall well-being. Here are six ways to help ensure your child has healthy eyes.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
One of the best things you can do for your child’s eye health is to schedule regular eye exams with the eye doctor. The frequency depends on your child’s age, but in general, babies should have their first exam at 6 months old, and then again at 3 years old. Kids aged 6-18 should have an exam every year or two. If there are no concerns, then you can space them out more as they get older. But if there are any issues, it’s important to catch them early so they can be treated accordingly.
Encourage Them to Eat Right
What your child eats has a direct impact on their vision. Be sure they’re getting plenty of leafy greens, fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids in their diet as these nutrients are essential for healthy eyesight. Limit their intake of sugary drinks and snacks as well as fatty foods as these can lead to obesity and increase the risk of developing diabetes—both of which can lead to vision problems.
Get Them Moving
Encourage your kids to be active as physical activity is not only good for their overall health but also their eyesight. Studies have shown that children who are physically active are less likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness). So get them off the couch and outside playing!
Limit Screen Time
We live in a digital world where our kids are constantly exposed to screens—computers, tablets, phones, TVs, etc. Too much screen time can lead to eye strain which can cause symptoms like headaches, dry eyes, and fatigue. It’s important to limit their screen time and make sure they’re taking breaks every 20 minutes or so. And when they are using screens, make sure the lighting in the room isn’t too bright and that the screens are at eye level.
Protect Their Eyes From the Sun
Just like adults need to protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, so do children. Be sure they’re wearing sunglasses when outdoors—even on cloudy days—as well as hats with brims to shade their face and eyes from the sun’s rays. In addition, apply sunscreen to the areas around their eyes as well as any exposed skin. And finally, avoid letting them play near bodies of water without adult supervision as the glare off the water can damage vision over time.
Teach Them Good Habits
Teach your kids from an early age about practices that will help keep their eyes healthy throughout their life such as never sharing makeup or eye products, not rubbing their eyes, maintaining good hygiene (wiping away sleep from around the eyes), etc. By instilling these habits early on, you’ll help reduce their risk of developing infections or other serious problems later on down the road.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your children—including their eye health. These six tips will help get (and keep) your kid’s vision healthy—so they perform better at schoolwork tasks & hobbies while also decreasing potential health risks down the road. Don’t forget, while annual checkups with the pediatrician are crucial for whole-body wellness—don’t forget about scheduling regular eye exams too.
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