Preventative Eye Care & Health Tips For Parents
The majority of parents are already taking the necessary precautions towards protecting their children’s valuable vision, especially for those who could be at a higher risk for vision problems.
For example, many correctable eye issues such as astigmatism can be passed down to future generations. This is why regular exams are so important. Especially if you as a parent already have a vision condition that requires the use of corrective lenses or contacts.
Even if excellent eyesight runs in your family, we all know that genealogy isn’t the only thing that plays a part in our vision. We’re also aware that eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and rest are all vital in our overall health and good eyesight. Here are four ways of protecting our children’s valuable and irreplaceable vision:
#1 – SUNSCREEN FOR THEIR EYES
The importance of using sunscreen, especially on vulnerable young skin, is equally as necessary for their peepers. Be sure to invest in at least one pair of high-quality, sunglasses for each of your children and encourage them to wear them whenever they’re outdoors. Look for models that block up to 99% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.
#2 – OTHER OUTDOOR PROTECTION
Playing sports, other forms of outdoor recreation and activities are a part of growing up, but so are injuries that can come from participating in these practices. As a matter of fact, eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness for school age children and the majority of these come from sports-related contact. Since 90% of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the appropriate protective gear, ensure that kids wear them at all times, whether they’re playing baseball in the park or mowing the grass in the back yard.
#3 – A GOOD OFFENSE
Speaking of sports, as the old adage goes, “a good offense is the best defense.” In this sense, many eye experts recommend the use of toys and games that encourage visual development especially for younger children and toddlers. More than just books, the AOA (American Optometric Association) gives these examples for:
- Infants: Mobiles and gyms for cribs, rattles, and squeaky toys
- Six to Eight Months: Stuffed animals and bath toys
- Nine Months to One Year: Take apart and stackable toys
- One Year: Brightly colored balls, blocks, and riding toys
- Two Years: Crayons, bean bags, more advanced, age-appropriate games and toys
- Three Years to Six Years: More complicated toys that require building and assembling
- Seven and Older: Coordination related toys like jump ropes, bicycles, and roller skates
From playing peek-a-boo with babies to engaging in hide-and-go-seek with older children, other activities like playing catch and coloring are also things that will encourage visual development.
#4 – SEEK HELP
In the event of an injury or other type of immediate eye issue eye, seek help sooner rather than later. For example, if your child is struck in the eye with a blunt object, even if there’s no blood or obvious signs of injury, there could still be internal damage, like glaucoma caused by blunt force trauma, whose symptoms could lay dormant for days, weeks, months or even years.
According to the GLF (Glaucoma Research Foundation), a blow to the head or directly to the eye itself can cause damage to systems within the eye(s) that can cause internal bleeding, increased pressure and affect the natural way that eyes drain. In some cases, this can lead to irreversible vision loss, so even if it doesn’t appear to be any external damage, it’s better to be safe than sorry and have your child checked out by a professional.
Do your children wear glasses?