It is extremely important to nurture healthy self-care habits in children from early childhood. Effective eye care is no exception.
Eyes being an extremely delicate organ must be taken care of proactively and diligently. Following warning signs in your kid’s eyesight indicate they require immediate care:
Limit their exposure to digital devices
Today it is next to impossible to keep children away from digital devices like smartphones, computers, video games etc. Majority of them are addicted to watching videos and playing online games due to which they tend to spend maximum time on these devices.
High exposure to digital devices can degrade eyesight and lead to vision problems hence it’s advised to minimise the digital exposure time as much as possible.
Add eyesight development food to children’s diet
In the growing years proper nutrition and a balanced diet is very important for children. In order to boost your child’s eyesight add beta-carotene rich foods such as carrots, papaya, mangos etc. in their diet. Also, ensure that your child is having enough iron-rich foods and green leafy vegetables.
Break the habit of constantly rubbing eyes
Whenever there is even a small irritation in the eye, kids tend to rub their eyes with their hands. If the hands are not clean, the bacteria and germs from hands can transfer to the eyes and can cause eye infection; conditions can worsen if your child is suffering from conjunctivitis.
Hence, teach your child that the right way is to wash eyes with water and touch the eyes with clean hands only.
Give enough rest to the eyes
Children’s eyes are quite stressed because right from looking at the blackboard to reading books to watching videos and playing online games stress your child’s eyes. Make sure your child gets enough sleep and does not perform any useless activity that causes eye stress.
Maintain appropriate distance from TV screen
Many kids spend a lot of time watching their favourite cartoons and TV shows which strain their eyes. Make sure your children are watching TV at a safe distance from the TV screen. Also, see to it that the room where the TV is placed should be properly lit and the source of light is not the TV alone.
Warning signs for Infants
If you constantly witness droopy or watering eyes in your infants, you should seek immediate medical attention. Identify if your family has had a history of cataract or glaucoma.
Watch if your child is blinking his/her eyes more than normal. Get your child examined by an ophthalmologist to check for any probable neurological issues with their eyesight.
Warning signs for Toddlers
Does your child show lazy fixation or crossed eye? Is your child able to follow any moving objects? Immediately consult a practitioner if you notice any purposeless eye movements in your toddler.
Examine if they get confused with a movement or successfully follow the same. Early eyesight issues may start with intolerance of normal light or excessive eye discharge. An early check up with the doctor can help manage any eyesight issues in your toddler.
Warning signs for school children
Does your child squint while watching television? Can your child easily see the board in the classroom? If your child holds the books or notebooks closer than normal while studying, you should get their eyesight checked.
Habits like falling down at night or watching the television from a close distance also indicate eyesight issues. Eventually, your child may stop reading books or lose interest in the surroundings. Never overlook such conditions and seek immediate medical attention.
Eye care tips to maintain healthy eyesight in children
Following tips can help your child develop healthy eye care habits:
- Provide a healthy balanced diet to your children containing ample of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, beetroot, carrots and yellow fruits rich in carotenoids like mango and papaya.
- Ensure that your children watch TV in a well-lighted room from a distance of at least 3.5 meters.
- Ensure that your children watch computer screens judiciously. Keep computer screen lower than eye level to permit blinking and reducing symptoms of eye fatigue and dryness. Make sure your child blinks attentively and gives rest to his/her eyes at periodic intervals.
- Telephone usage for playing games must be restricted due to low resolution. Limit gaming sessions on other electronic devices.
- Make sure your child study in well-illuminated rooms. Install a proper light source for reading. Never allow them to work on the computer or read in a dimly lit room.
- Keep the books at a safe distance while reading. Ensure that your child holds the books at a minimum distance of 14 inches or 40 cm from their eyes. Keeping books at proper distance ensure less strain to their eyes.
- Make sure you place the monitors of computer or gaming devices at safe distance from the eyes. You should maintain a distance of at least 50 cm between the screen and the eyes.
- Carry shielding eyewear for active communicate sports.
- Let your child wear protective goggles while bathing to avert inflation from chlorine and prevent eye diseases.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis is commonly observed in school going children. Wiping eyes constantly may aggravate the allergic process. Stay vigilant and proactively teach eye hygiene to young kids.
- Discourage the practices of washing eyes with rosewater and applying Kajal to newborns.
- Discourage your toddlers and infants from playing with sharp and pointed playthings.
- Encourage your children to take proper breaks while reading, working on the computer or pursuing any work related to eyesight. Help them develop a habit of sprinkling water in the eyes when tired.
- Encourage your children to look at distant objects during their break. A regular practice of this simple exercise can help in increasing the power of their eyes.
- Motivate your children to play more outdoor games. This will help your children get proper exercise and will also reduce excess pressure on their visual power. Furthermore, outdoor games ensure the physical fitness of your children.
- Ensure that your child gets proper sleep and adequate rest for the eyes.
- Take your kids for regular eye check up to an ophthalmologist. This ensures early identification of minor problems if any.