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Top Tips for Protecting the Health of Your Children’s Eyes

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As parents, we all want to make sure our kids are as happy and healthy as they can possibly be. Of course this involves many factors, but one important issue that we definitely shouldn’t overlook is their eye health. After all, you only get one pair! Having clear vision is crucial for children in so many ways, and problems with their eyesight can cause difficulties in learning, socializing and even staying safe. So here are four top tips for how to protect the health of your children’s eyes.

Avoid too much screen time

It’s no secret that spending too much time looking at a computer, tablet or phone screen can have impact our eyesight negatively. This is true for both adults and children, but it’s possible that kids are more at risk because their eyes are still developing. In addition to limiting screen time, some ways to minimize the effects are to use bigger screens that can be viewed from further away, take regular breaks, and set screens up ergonomically just like in an office.

Encourage outdoor play

A common condition affecting eyesight is myopia, or near-sightedness. This is when we have trouble focusing on objects that are in the distance. Although often an inherited condition, there is plenty of evidence that lifestyle factors can play a part too. Clinics such as Park Slope Eye recommend children spend more time outside in order to reduce the progression of myopia. Exposure to sunlight, physical activity and time outdoors have all been found to have a positive impact – giving you one more reason to encourage your kids to run around and get some fresh air and sunshine!

Take them for regular eye exams

Most opticians recommend taking your children for an eye exam every two years. These are much more comprehensive than the vision tests they might have at school, and check a range of factors include peripheral vision, depth perception, color perception, clarity of vision, the eyes’ ability to focus, and the eyes’ ability to work together. In addition to checking eyesight, eye exams can also spot early warning signs of a number of different eye diseases that you would be unable to pick up on by yourself. Your optometrist can then recommend any corrective measures or treatments if needed.

Have a healthy diet

We all know that what we eat can have an impact on our overall health, but it’s also key for the health of our eyes. Try to include lots of fruit and vegetables that are packed with the vitamins needed for good ocular health in your children’s diet. For instance leafy greens like spinach and kale are rich in lutein, a powerful antioxidant that plays an important role in vision. Meanwhile carrots have high levels of vitamin A and beta carotene, citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, and nuts are bursting with vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids – all of which are key for protecting our eyes.

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