Eye health should never be taken for granted, no matter what age. Teaching your kids the right way to care for their eyes instills habits that will stay with them into adulthood. Use these children’s eye care tips to protect their vision from the start.
Select toys carefully
Make sure your child has age-appropriate toys without sharp edges or projections that could injure his/her eyes. Include toys that encourage visual development. Chalkboards, coloring books and crayons, jigsaw puzzles, Legos, construction sets and building blocks are all good choices that will help to build visual skills while supporting children’s eye care.
Use protection in sunlight
When your child is outdoors, he should be wearing sunglasses with UV-coated lenses or a wide-brimmed hat to protect his eyes from dangerous rays. This is particularly important for kids with light-colored eyes that are extra-sensitive to the sun. Make it fun by choosing a style of kids’ sunglasses with bright colors or a popular TV or movie character. And what kid doesn’t like wearing baseball caps?
Child-proof your home
Household accidents are one of the most common causes of eye injuries in children. Use safety gates at the top and bottom of staircases and make sure the surface of the steps is non-slip. Place cushions on sharp corners and edges of furniture and fixtures. Store paints, fertilizers, household cleaners and other chemical-based products in a secured area. Install cabinet and drawer locks to keep cosmetics, kitchen utensils and other objects out of reach.
Provide a healthy diet
Plan meals with a variety of foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and lutein, all of which have been linked to good eye health. Carrots, salmon, tuna, citrus fruits, berries, nuts and sunflower seeds are some of the foods that are sources of these nutrients as well as antioxidants that protect against cell damage.
Schedule regular eye exams
Many eye issues can be successfully treated when they’re detected early enough. Your optometrist can also advise you on children’s eye care news and tips. Take your child in immediately if you see signs such as crossed eyes or cloudiness in the pupil.
Your child’s eyes are meant to last a lifetime. Contact Valley EyeCare Center to start a lifetime program of proper eye care.