Parents have a lot of responsibilities when it comes to taking care of their kids. They have their hands full, from ensuring kids get enough sleep and eat right to teaching them how to stay safe. One important thing that parents can do for their kids helps them protect their eyesight. Here are a few tips on how to do that.
Find An Eye Doctor You Trust
Finding an eye doctor you trust can be a daunting task, especially for your child's vision. However, there are a few key factors to keep in mind that will help you find the right doctor for your family:
It's crucial to find an optometrist or ophthalmologist who is board certified. This certification signifies that the doctor has completed extensive training and is up-to-date on the latest developments in eye care. You should ensure the doctor has experience treating children. Many optometrists and ophthalmologists specialize in pediatrics, so ask about this when you call for an appointment.
It's always a good idea to get a personal recommendation from someone you trust. If you know another parent who is happy with their child's eye doctor, that's a great place to start your search. You can also ask your child's pediatrician for a recommendation.
Schedule Regular Eye Exams
It's important to take your child for regular eye exams, even if they seem to be seeing fine. Some vision problems, like amblyopia (lazy eye), can be easily treated when caught early. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children have their first comprehensive eye exam at six months. After that, they should have another exam at three years old, and then again before starting school. Once they're in school, their vision should be checked every two years unless there are problems or concerns.
Of course, if you notice any vision problems in your child between scheduled exams, don't hesitate to make an appointment with their eye doctor.
Consider Buy Blue Light Glasses
Nowadays, children are spending more time than ever in front of screens. This increased screen time can lead to digital eye strain, which can cause several symptoms, such as headaches, dry eyes, and fatigue. One way to help reduce the risk of digital eye strain is to invest in a pair of blue light glasses.
These special glasses filter out the blue light emitted by screens, which can help reduce eye fatigue. If your child needs glasses, it's vital to help them get used to wearing them. The UK store selling blue light glasses advises you to get a pair for yourself to set a good example for your child. Keep their glasses clean and free from scratches. You can help them do this by teaching them how to clean their glasses properly and showing them how to store them safely when they're not wearing them.
Help Them Avoid Eye Injuries
It's essential to take measures to prevent eye injuries in kids. Thousands of children suffer from eye injuries every year, many of which could have been avoided with proper precautions.
Do not allow your child to play with sharp or pointed objects, such as pencils, pens, or scissors. Inspect toys before giving them to your child to ensure that they are safe and free of sharp edges. Whenever possible, choose toys that are designed for safety. For example, avoid giving your child toy guns that shoot pellets or BBs.
When outside on a bright day, ensure your child is wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. They should also wear protective gear when participating in sports or other activities. This could include wearing goggles, helmets, or other types of protective eyewear.
Be cautious when using household cleaning products around your child. Many of these products contain chemicals that can be harmful if they come into contact with the eyes. Whenever possible, choose natural cleaning products that are safe for use around kids.
Ensure They Are Getting Enough Sleep
Children need to get enough sleep, which helps their bodies and brains to rest and recover. A lack of sleep can lead to several problems, including irritability, difficulty concentrating, and headaches. It can also exacerbate symptoms of digital eye strain. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that school-aged children (six to thirteen years old) get nine to eleven hours of sleep every night. Teenagers (fourteen to seventeen years old) should aim for eight to ten hours of sleep.
You can help your child get enough sleep by establishing a bedtime routine and ensuring their bedroom is dark and quiet. You should also limit screen time before bed, as the blue light from screens can interfere with sleep. By getting enough sleep, your child can help reduce the risk of vision problems such as amblyopia.
As a parent, you play a vital role in protecting your child's vision. By taking some simple precautions, you can help reduce the risk of vision problems and ensure that your child has healthy eyesight for years to come.