Thousands of children have accidents that harm their eyes at home, school, or on the playground every year. Vision disorders are the number one handicapping condition for children, yet 86% of American children under the age of five have not had an eye examination by an eye doctor. Take a moment to see what you can do to help your child develop and maintain good vision to last a lifetime.
Help Keep Your Child's Eyes Safe and Healthy
Encouraging your child to consume dark green vegetables and vitamin-fortified milk isn’t only good for strong bones, but for healthy eyes too.
Buy your child sunglasses to protect her eyes against UV exposure. Be sure to choose glasses that have "100% UV protection."
Proper sun wear is important for infants and toddlers. If they are going to be out in the sun, be sure their eyes are protected. Special sunglasses are available for little ones that are safe, inexpensive, provide all the UV protection they need, and wrap around their head so they don’t fall off while they are playing in the sun.
Keep harmful detergents away from your child so there is no chance of them getting in her eyes and make sure there are no sharp objects around that a child could accidentally bump into.
For your young athletes, proper eyewear during sports is very important. Wearing safety goggles can protect their eyes from serious eye injuries. Baseball, ice hockey, racquet sports, and soccer lead the list of sports that cause the most eye injuries in kids ages five to 12. Both the American Optometric Association’s Sport Vision Section, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend the use of protective eyewear during sports.
Prevent eye strain by making sure that your child has a good light to read by. Natural light is best, but for nighttime reading, invest in a good reading lamp.
Monitor how much time your kid is spending on the computer and make him take a 10-minute break every hour or so when he is working, texting, or reading up close for long periods of time. It’s not definitive that heavy computer use, texting, or constant reading are contributing to the increase in nearsightedness we are seeing today, but experts certainly agree that overdoing it on the computer can cause blurred vision or focusing problems.