It’s never too early to teach kids about proper eye care. In fact, the earlier children are taught how to care for their eyes, the better chances they have of developing good eye care habits as they grow up. If you have school-age children are old enough to understand the basics of eye care, here are the first things that you should teach them about it:
Make Sure There’s Plenty Of Light
Even if your children have 20/20 vision, you should always remind them to turn on the light while reading or doing their homework. Reading or writing in low light can cause kids to strain their eyes, which may lead to eyestrain-related headaches and fatigue.
If your kids wear glasses, make sure they wear them regularly. If you’re interested in looking for specs for your kids, you can read more on TTDEYE’s official blog.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Getting kids to eat fruits and vegetables is a challenge for almost every parent. Thus, you should introduce your children to fruits and veggies in a variety of ways. Try mashed, juiced, fried, or mixed in with their favorite foods. Most importantly, teach them about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, especially those that are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin–the two antioxidants found in the macula of the eye.
Take Frequent Breaks
Kids nowadays are often exposed to screens for multiple hours each day. While it’s recommended to cut down kids’ screen time, not a lot of parents can follow this rule. Nevertheless, make sure your kids take frequent breaks while using phones/tablets or watching TV. Teach them the 20-20-20 rule, which says that every 20 minutes of screen time, a person should look at something that is 20 meters away for about 20 seconds.
Use Eye Protection
As early as you can, teach kids about proper eye protection. To protect the eyes from the sun, kids should wear sunglasses and brimmed hats. On the other hand, if they will engage in an activity that involves dangerous flying objects (e.g. sports, school experiments, etc.), they should always wear the recommended eye protection to prevent injuries.
Be Vocal About Vision Problems
Teach your children that whenever they feel something is wrong with their eyes or their vision, they should tell you or another adult immediately. However, most kids won’t recognize vision problems because they don’t know the symptoms. Thus, it’s your responsibility to watch out for any signs and symptoms of vision problems.
Unusual head tilting, excessive blinking and rubbing, and holding things closer than necessary all warrant a visit to the eye doctor.
Don’t Rub Your Eyes
Whenever you see your kids rubbing their eyes, tell them to stop immediately. If there is a foreign object in their eye, tell them that they should get an adult to remove or wash it out. Rubbing the eyes can cause irritation, infection, or scratching of the eyeball.
Always Wash Your Hands
Make it a habit to have your kids wash their hands as soon as they come home, before and after eating, and after going to the bathroom. Proper and routine handwashing will decrease the chances of your kids getting pink eye, among other nasty eye infections that can be passed on by germs.
Along with these tips, teaching your kids about the anatomy of the eye can help them better understand why they need to take care of theirs. Do it in a way that they can easily comprehend and use visual aids to make it more fun. Don’t forget to teach them why they need to take care of their eyes, as well as what happens if they don’t.