Caring For Your Children’s Eyes During Winter Months

Caring For Your Children's Eyes During Winter Months


There are different ways to keep your children’s eyes healthy during colder winter months. Eye issues such as dry, sore eyes, tired eyes from prolonged screen time indoor in colder months are common problems all parents face these days.

Dry Eyes

Like adults, children can also get dry, sore eyes form heaters and cold winds outside. Using humidifiers may prevent excessive drying of our skin and eyes as dry eyes can cause sore, red eyes and our children’s eyes to get irritated. If you do not have humidifiers, simply placing an open glass of water in each room can help too.

Another issues are with contact lens wear during winter; as the weather gets drier, contact lenses may get dry in the eye. Talking to your eye care practitioner (optometrist or ophthalmologist) about what you can do for your child (or yourself) may help; they may prescribe eye lubricant in the form of eyedrops, gel or spray.

Wearing sunglasses, or a hat may help protect your eyes from outside cold winds when doing outdoor exercise or play.

Sunglasses over Winter! Yes or No?

Most definitely! The winter sun might not feel as bright or strong; however the UV index can be the same as warmer summer days. Make sure that your children’s eyes are protected when UV index is high especially in the beach or the snow. Sunlight reflected by the snow can lead to sunburnt eyes so make sure that your and your children’s sunglasses and snow goggles have good UV protection.

Flu and Eye Issues

Washing hands thoroughly and frequently can help the spread of cold and flu. Make sure you and your children are vaccinated against the current flu; visit your GP to ask them about the latest flu vaccine every year. Common eye issues when you are exposed to someone with cold and flu (or if you are affected with one) are conjunctivitis (pink eyes) and blepharitis (lid infection). Avoid touching your eyes when you have a cold or flu.

Screen Related Eye Strain

With modern technology, it is easier to just say “yes” to your children wanting to play ipad/ phone/ or watch TV whilst being indoor. We found that many children develop myopia (shortsightedness) during winter months with prolonged exposure to screentime. When the weather is bad; look for other indoor sports or activities to keep our little ones busy during winter months. Get them involved in house chores, make it fun and reward them! Organise some play dates with other children, find some outdoor sports or take your kids to the snow!

Sonya Wijaya (B. Optom. Ther. Endorsed/ PG. Spec. Cert. Cont. Lenses and Paedriatics) is a family optometrist based in Doncaster East (Ph 98415798)


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