How Can Parents Help Create Healthy Eye Environment?

How Can Parents Help Create Healthy Eye Environment?

Good vision is important for a child’s educational, physical and social development. It is important for parents to identify and recognise the possible symptoms of vision problems. One in five Australian children suffers from an undetected vision problem, or requires regular monitoring. Most of the children with eye problems are not aware that they have any eye problems, as they assume what they see is normal.

Creating a healthy eye environment at home is a good start and here are useful hints to achieve it;

– Take your child to visit an optometrist on a regular basis
– Always read in good and even lighting, and encourage
regular breaks
– Spend a few hours outdoor each day; and remember
sun protection
– Wear sunglasses and a hat while outside to avoid UV damage
– Ensure room is well lit and reduce glare from lights or windows when watching TV or playing on smart devices
– Limit computer sessions and have regular short breaks
– Limit TV watching to less than 2 hours, and have a good distance from the screen
– Have the top of the computer or TV, or slightly below eye level
– Healthy eating that includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts and fish to help maintaining eye and body health
– Variety of activities should be included in child’s play; climbing, games, exploring, building and general play
– Diet plays an important role in maintaining good vision and
eye health

Children also get so much benefit from playground or outdoor play for their social, physical and thinking development. The best way to ensure your young children are safe in a playground is to supervise them, especially when they are trying more complicated activities. One of the big plus of outdoor play is that increased outdoor time leads to reducing myopia (shortsightedness) progression. Another benefit of outdoor play is the common soil bacterium is believed to have antidepressant qualities and has been shown to increase learning ability. However, there are possible side effects with increased exposure to UV light from the sun; and the effect is minimal when proper UV protection is given to the child (sunscreen for the skin and sunglasses and/ or hat for the eyes). We will cover UV protection in greater detail in our next article.

In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for potential problems with the GP, paedriatician or an optometrist. Around the age of 3 and 5, every child should have their eye examination by the family optometrist or doctor. Optometrist Association Australia recommended every school-aged child should have an annual eye examination to ensure early detection of any problems; as most eye problems are easily treatable when detected early enough.


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