6 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Eyes
Eyesight is an important part of growth and development, and there are several ways to protect your child’s eyes. It’s not all up to hereditary disposition.
Consider these tips to protect your child’s eyes from an early age and into the future.
#1 – Buy age-appropriate toys
Protect your child’s eyes by buying age-appropriate toys. Buying your child toys that are not age appropriate can be potentially hazardous. Each year, many kids are checked into emergency rooms due to toy-related injuries.
While toys are fun and an important part of your child’s development, they need to be age appropriate for their own safety. Adhere to age guidelines printed on toy packaging, and stay away from toys with sharp edges.
Age-appropriate toys often serve as a catalyst for visual development. As your child grows, provide visually stimulating toys can improve motor and eye-hand coordination skills.
Consider toys such as:
- Building blocks
- Stringing beads
- Drawing tools
- Finger paints
- Modeling clay
#2 – Increase time spent outdoors
Studies show outdoor activities delay the development of myopia, or nearsightedness.
Previous research suggests this might be from children spending too much time focusing on close-up objects such as books, smartphones, and television screens.
Protect your child’s eyes by incorporating outdoor activities with him or her, such as swimming, biking, or simply visiting a park.
Various outdoor activities promote positive overall eye health.
#3 – Protection against sun damage
While spending time outside is important, it is also important to protect your child’s eyes from sun damage while playing outside.
Invest in sun protection accessories such as sunglasses with ultraviolet (UV) protection, or hats to shield your child from damaging rays. This is especially important if your child’s eyes are lighter in color.
Keep in mind that not all sunglasses protect from UVA and UVB rays. Look for glasses that are made by well-known optical manufacturers that are labeled to block 100% against UVA and UVB. Polycarbonate lenses provide the best protection. The lenses are impact resistant and block both UVA and UVB rays.
#4- Implement a healthy diet
To protect your child’s eyes, a great place to start is by eating right during pregnancy. This kick-starts your child’s health from his or her earliest stages of life.
Maintaining a healthy diet is not only beneficial to you, but it sets a good example for your child.
Provide nutritious, well-balanced meals for your child. Eating fruits and vegetable that are high in lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to protect eyes from free radical damage.
Green vegetables are packed with vitamins A, B12, C and Calcium, which are all important nutrients for your eye health.
Looking for some nutrient-packed foods? Try these:
- collard greens
- egg yolks
#5 – Schedule regular check-ups
A detailed examination by a pediatric ophthalmologist in the first year of life is highly recommended, along with another between the ages of 3 and 4. While school vision screenings are helpful to keep an eye on your child’s health, it is important to continue making regular check-ups at your pediatric ophthalmologist.
Only a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist can ensure your child’s vision is as clear and comfortable as possible.
Annual eye exams can ensure your child is free from potentially serious eye diseases that don’t have obvious symptoms such as glaucoma and even eye cancer.
Make an appointment with The Eye Center Associate’s Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Julie Kiessling Calderwood, M.D.
#6 – Know what to do in an emergency
Knowing what to do if your child has a serious eye injury can save their eye health and vision.
Here are three of the most common eye emergencies and how to protect your child’s eyes if they happen:
- Your child gets something in his or her eye and you don’t know what it is: flush the eye for at least 20 minutes. While you are flushing the eye, have someone call for medical help or poison control.
- A blunt object hits your child in the eye: examine the eye closely. If there is bleeding or the eye will not open, seek medical attention immediately. If your child continues to be in pain, cover the injured eye with a cold pack for 15 minutes every hour, and call a doctor.
- Your child’s eye is poked with a sharp object: cover the eye with a shield, such as the cut-out bottom of a foam cup. Seek immediate attention. DO NOT press on the eyelid and DO NOT remove the object yourself. Cover the eye and call 9-1-1.
Here at The Eye Center, eye safety is of utmost importance to us.
Protect your child’s eyes and call to book an appointment today!
About The Eye Center
The Eye Center is a premier medical and surgical eye care facility located in Huntsville, Alabama. The Eye Center physicians offer more than 80 years of combined experience in quality medical and surgical eye care utilizing state-of-the-art techniques. To discover more about our services, call us at (256) 705-3937 or click here!