Beyond the Eye Exam: Some Tips on How to Protect Your Child’s EyesOf all the things you do to protect your children, guarding their eyes is one of the most important. In addition to taking them for an annual eye exam starting around age three, there are other measures you should take to protect your child’s eyes and ensure they’re healthy for years to come.
Protecting eyes from the sun
Unlike adults, kids’ eyes aren’t fully developed and therefore don’t have the same ability to combat UV radiation. That’s why it’s crucial to arm kids with eye protection before they head outside to play. Invest in sunglasses for your child, and if they’re not prescription sunglasses, make sure you read the labels carefully. You should choose a pair that block out both UVA and UVB radiation. Wearing a brimmed hat will also help shield your child’s eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.
Protecting eyes during TV, computer and video game use
As any parent knows, kids can easily spend hours in front of the TV or computer. Whether they’re watching their favorite shows or playing video games, electronic media can be all-consuming for kids and in turn, cause extreme eyestrain. Insist on frequent breaks away from the TV or computer so their eyes can rest re-moisturize. It’s also important to keep the room well lit and make sure your child is sitting at reasonable distance from the screen. All of this will help reduce eyestrain which can lead to headaches and eye fatigue.
Protecting eyes while reading
Reading for extended periods of time can also lead to eyestrain. Ensure your child is reading in a well-lit room and discourage them from lying down while reading. Sitting up with the book propped up on the child’s lap or on a table at a slight distance will help reduce strain on the eyes. If your child is farsighted, make sure they always wear their eyeglasses while reading.
Remember the little things
In addition to taking these steps toward eye protection, remember to schedule an eye exam every year, and ask your child’s teacher if he or she has noticed your child squinting or struggling to see the chalkboard. If your child wears glasses, make sure they’re always being worn and check that the eyeglass frames fit properly and are comfortable. Taking all these measures will set your child up for a lifetime of healthy eyes and proper eyesight.
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