Eye care for children requires special attention since the younger children often cannot express their discomfort or problems with eyes and vision. As parents, we have to be especially alert about their eyes since they are more prone to allergies, infections and also trauma. In addition, several childhood eye diseases can potentially lead to irreversible loss of vision, making eye care for children absolutely necessary.
Here are some useful tips for eye care for children.
1. Make sure their diet is balanced and healthy
A well balanced diet is the key for overall development and health. Often, children are fussy eaters and avoid green, yellow and red leafy vegetables like carrots, spinach, mangoes, papaya and beetroot, which are essential for eye health. In addition, junk food results in empty calories, without all the necessary nutrients. This can lead to vitamin A deficiency in children which is a grave deficiency disease. This can also be precipitated by frequent infections like diarrhea. Therefore, eye care for children is incomplete without attention to their diet.
2. Limit screen time
While there is no evidence to say that the power of glasses increases with increased screen time, excessive use of technological devices does result in eye strain and Computer Vision Syndrome. Also, the child must have a proper chair and desk when using a screen device to ensure proper posture.
In addition to computers and phones, even the time spent watching television must be regulated. There are reports that say that playing outside reduces the incidence of myopia in children, and the same also helps in overall development. So for proper eye care for children, they must be encouraged to play outdoors rather than on smartphones.
3. Encourage hand hygiene and discourage eye rubbing
Rubbing of eyes can cause frequent eye infections due to spread of germs from grubby hands. Children must be taught that they should avoid touching their eyes, and if absolutely necessary, must do so only after washing their hands.
4. Avoid using Kajal
Kajal, kohl and soorma are culturally a part of Indian tradition but can often result in both eye injuries and infections. Even if you have been using the same kajal for yourself, it is not considered safe for children.
5.Use age appropriate toys
To ensure proper eye care for children, they must always be supervised during playing, as injuries with toys and during sports are an important cause for childhood loss of vision. You must also ensure that they use proper safety equipment during sports like helmets and protective goggles. You must also make sure to get your children age appropriate toys, and avoid toys with sharp and jagged edges, and also broken toys. Avoid toys like bow and arrow and firecrackers because they carry a high risk of injury.
Read Also: (Children's Eye Health And Safety)
6. Ensure regular eye examinations:
Make sure you take your child for regular eye examinations so as to detect any refractive errors and other eye diseases as early as possible. Vision is key to overall development, and often poor vision can lead to behavioral and learning disabilities. In addition, several eye diseases do not have symptoms and can only be detected by a comprehensive eye examination. Remember, a school vision check, or one with your pediatrician is not sufficient to ensure proper eye care for children.