Caring for Vision: 5 Tricks To Promote Healthy Eyesight During Childhood
How often do you take your sight for granted? Children cannot help but embrace every visual, from clouds shaped like circus animals to falling leaves in autumn, youth shows an exuberance for visuals. As parents, it is crucial to embrace and cherish this excitement for the world and ensure that children can take advantage of all the beautiful sights in their own backyards. Kids prescription glasses are sometimes necessary to provide clearer images, but there are at least five things you can do as a parent to keep their eyes healthy throughout their developing years beyond a prescription.
1. Healthy and Balanced Nutrition
Diet is one of the primary contributors to healthy development. Many people believe that children should be allowed to consume candy and sugar unrestricted because, after all, you only live once. Still, an unmanaged diet is a gateway to midlife health crises.
Aside from future health concerns, eating the right things at an early age promote eye health. For example, fruits and vegetables contain beneficial vitamins and minerals, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, to protect against free radical damage. A diet including dark leafy greens, like kale and spinach, some citrus fruits, and healthy fats is the best combination for the eyes.
2. Outdoor Activity
How often do you take your kids outside to play? Studies suggest that too much time indoors and in front of computer screens can lead to nearsightedness (myopia) in children.
Encouraging outdoor activity from an early developmental age can lessen the risk of developing conditions like myopia, especially when those activities include hand-eye coordination and distance assessment.
While outdoor activity is encouraged, it is necessary to consider the dangers of too much sun exposure. Because the hottest times of the day tend to be between 11 am and 4 pm, try to schedule play for before or after that period.
3. Sunglasses and Hats
When you do take your children outside to play, remember that you must use sun protection. UV rays can be harmful to the skin and the eyes, even on cloudy days. You can look for prescription glasses, sunglasses, or hats to ensure that your child’s eyes are protected against UV exposure. What you use will depend on the age of your child. For younger children, a hat or umbrella might be a better option than a pair of sunglasses because they provide less chance of injury.
4. Screen Breaks
Remote learning and digital interactions are becoming more popular. Unfortunately, too much screen time can cause eye strain and lead to other optical problems. While children may need to use a tablet or computer, try to schedule their time and balance it with adequate rest. For example, the 20/20/20 rule suggests that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you should take a 20-second break, focusing on something 20 feet away. Other common practices include the Pomodoro method, which requires a five-minute break after 20 to 25 minutes of screen time or work.
5. Regular Checkups
While diet, exercise, and adequate supervision can help protect your child’s eyesight, the primary way to care for their vision is with routine vision checks. Everyone needs an eye doctor, including your child. They should begin seeing an optometrist from the time they are newborns. A doctor can help you determine the appropriate schedule.
While some children will inevitably need to wear kids prescription glasses, that does not mean that their eyesight is doomed. Helping your child learn about nutrition, exercise, sun protection, digital management, and responsible checkups will ensure that they maintain the healthiest vision possible throughout their life. There are too many beautiful things to see; why not help your child learn to protect a wonderful and natural gift?