It’s Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month! Healthy eyes and vision are an important part of a child’s development. Check out these easy tips recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for maintaining both your and your child’s good vision.
1. Protect your eyes.
• Just like when you wear pads to protect your joints during sports, you also need to protect your eyes. Wearing a pair of sunglasses is one of the best defenses. Not only does it keep give another layer of protection, but buying a pair of sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection also blocks UV light, which can cause long term damage to the eyes.
• Wear protective eyewear during activities that have potential to harm your eyes. A few examples may include science labs, workshops, and contact sports.
2. Know your stuff.
• It’s important to know your family’s eye health history, since many eye diseases are hereditary. Talk to your family members so you can find out if you’re at a higher risk for a certain eye disease.
3. Don’t strain your eyes!
• Activities like watching TV or staring at a computer screen have the potential to strain your eyes if you do them for too long. When we stare, our blink rate goes down from 10 times a minute to 2 or 3 times a minute. It helps to change your focus from time to time- look away from the TV for a few seconds before resuming your program.
• If your eyes start to feel dry or irritated while watching TV or using a computer, use artificial teardrops to add back some moisture.
4. Eat well, see well.
• It’s important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet in order to maintain good vision. You’ve heard that foods rich in Vitamin A are good for your eyes, which is true. Spinach, kale, and carrots are all known for their high levels of Vitamin A. But it is also important to eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids- like salmon, tuna, and almonds. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important.
5. Stay clean.
• Most eye diseases are spread through physical contact, so it is important to always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or putting in contact lenses.
• Avoid sharing eye drops or makeup with anyone else, and never touch the top of the bottle of eye drops with your hands, as the germs from your fingers can spread to your eyes.
• If your eyes start to become irritated, red, or you begin to notice other changes, contact your doctor to have them checked.
- A pediatric ophthalmologist explains why children need a back-to-school eye exam, and explains the seven signs a child is having trouble seeing.
- Focusing on things too close to the eyes for a prolonged period puts excessive strain on the eyes and has been found to hasten the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness. ...
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of pink eye, as well as treatment options.