Guest Writer Rob shares with us 4 tips to help protect our little ones’ peepers and how it starts with a healthy diet.
As your child grows, it’s vital that their vision stays in tip top condition. There is a huge focus today on visual learning in education, and in a world of screens and technology we need to be more careful than ever about not just our children’s eyes, but also our own.
That said, it doesn’t have to be a worry and it certainly doesn’t have to be something that you dedicate hours a day to. Here are a few quick and easy tips that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes out of any given day, but can leave you assured that you’re doing the best for those peepers!
A healthy diet
Sometimes it can be a struggle to encourage a healthy diet in your children, but you don’t have to go health mad to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need. Bugs Bunny wasn’t lying – carrots really can help keep our vision intact, but so can a range of nuts, fruits and vegetables since they tend to be rich in the key vitamins A, C and E.
It’s no secret that unless you’ve got some well trained taste buds these aren’t going to be your favourite sorts of food, but try popping a small selection on the dinner plate to accompany your children’s meal and get them into the habit of eating this kind of thing alongside the rest of their food.
Give your child a break from screens
When I was young I, like a lot of us, got told that too much time watching television would give me square eyes. Of course, this isn’t really the case and even I remember being sceptical, but staring at screens for too long can pose the much more real problem of eye strain.
What’s more, we blink less when we’re intently focussing on something and this means our eyes lack lubrication making them dry and sore. It’s hard to persuade children away from rubbing, so you should definitely adopt the ‘prevention rather than cure’ motto here.
A couple of hours a day looking at screens from a distance or three or four feet won’t do any harm – research even shows that fast paced games can improve visual acuity – but try not to exceed that too often.
Keep eyes protected from harsh light
Research at The Vision Center suggests that because children’s eyes are still developing, they can let in as much as 70% more harmful UV rays which damage the retina.
This means that it’s imperative to buy your child good quality sunglasses, and remember that if you’re wearing sunglasses then your child should be too. You might find that you want your child to be wearing them slightly more often than you, but while it’s good to be cautious you should be careful to give them ample time in good light so as not to cause unnecessary strain from indoor light.
Research eye conditions
More importantly than anything, you should make sure you know the causes and symptoms of the most common eye conditions so that you can quickly identify them should they develop.
Children are often reluctant to mention pains or troubles which they assume are either natural or will go away on their own, and it’s likely the most important piece of advice on this list that you keep a look out for changes in behaviour or consistently occurring pains.
Once you get into the swing of it and establish a routine with your children this should all come to you without thinking. Make sure to schedule regular eye checks and remember it’s always better to see a professional than assume a problem will solve itself.
Rob likes to write provide health advice on behalf of Direct Sight – a leading supplier of reading glasses online.