Your child’s eyes are important for so much more than just sight—their eyes will help them to learn about the world around them and encourage their development. Eyes are also more vulnerable to diseases and infections—and unfortunately, many parent and children are not aware of all that eye health entails. To keep your child’s eyes healthy and in top shape, follow these simple tips:
1. Provide healthy foods. This can reduce the risk of many different eye diseases and conditions. Focus on a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish and nuts) and leafy green vegetables, like spinach.
2. Remind your child to drink plenty of water. Your child needs water in order to produce tears, which keeps the eyes hydrated. Without hydration, dry eyes can be extremely uncomfortable and lead to more problems. Offer water with every meal and in between meals, with snacks.
3. Give your child sunglasses to wear outside, even on cloudy days. When it’s sunny outside, you already carefully apply sunscreen to your child’s skin, and it’s important to protect their sensitive eyes as well. Make sure to choose sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays in order to provide the most protection and keep your child comfortable.
4. Monitor breaks from screen time. Giving your child unlimited time with television, video games, and computer games translates to unnecessary strain on the eyes. For every 30 minutes of screen time, enforce a five minute break. There are many add-ons, apps, and parental control options that can help enforce this rule.
5. Schedule regular eye exams. This is the most important aspect of eye health care. Visiting an eye doctor regularly allows for any potential issues or problems to be spotted early so that they can be treated. Your eye doctor will tell you how often you will need to schedule an appointment, but usually, exams are before school starts every year or two.