Protecting your child’s eyesight
Eyesight begins to develop when a child is still in the womb, and is developing still many months after the baby first opens his or her eyes in the delivery room. The slow process of learning to recognize and focus images – along with young children’s inability to vocalise problems – means that parents must take an active role in assisting the development of eyesight.
This of course starts with regular eye tests, which not only establish vision acuity and identify ways eyesight can be improved, but are vital in establishing medical conditions which can present a serious long-term threat to good vision.
Should your child need their vision corrected, the traditional of options of glasses and contact lenses are now complemented by largely affordable laser eye surgery. If you want to make a more permanent vision correction – and your doctor is on board with the procedure – look for surgery providers who offer a free no-obligation consultation – such as Ultralase.com; you don’t want to commit to a procedure before you have all the facts.
However, even if your child initially appears to have perfect 20/20 vision issues can still develop as they grow, so it pays to be vigilant. There are also ways you can protect your child’s vision, instilling in them good habits which can last them a lifetime. Here are a few pointers:
The number of technological devices kids have access to these days continues to grow – PCs, laptops, tablets, all fight for attention with the television, while improvements to games played on handheld devices and smartphones means that kids are also looking at smaller, more detailed images on a regular basis. Over-use of these devices can strain the eyes, so parents should look at restricting their child’s use of these devices – or at least ensuring regular breaks are taken.
When your child is reading or studying, it is important to make sure they have the right kind of lighting. Your son or daughter may be perfectly happy working in low-level light, but this too can strain the eyes and cause problems to develop. Ensure that bedrooms are well-lit, and that your child is not holding books too close to their face – about 14 inches from the eye should do, depending on the size of the text.
A healthy diet
Healthy eating is important for many reasons, but ensuring your child gets plenty of the right vitamins is vital for developing eyes. Leafy green vegetables along with yellow fruits high in carotene are valuable, while foods rich in Omega-3 – such as fish, walnuts and wild rice – help to fight eye-related disease such as glaucoma.
UV light can be damaging to eyes, so sunglasses with effective protection should be on hand for brighter days. Many people simply associate sunglasses with warm summer days, but they are also important on bright winter days when the sun is low in the sky – especially when the ground is covered in snow, which reflects bright light. Eyes should also be protected when swimming – a pair of goggles will shield your child’s eyes from the chlorine in the water.