Too much screen time is also a major cause of dry eye in kids. Over time it can even lead to the child having trouble focusing. Studies have actually shown a rise in myopic vision in children who spend too much time looking at the computer/ tab screen.

There is in an increased number of young children wearing glasses to help them see better. Vision problems and poor eyesight among kids have become common issues that we tend to forget there was a time that wearing glasses was considered ‘an old people problem’. Besides genetic predisposition, the main causes of increased vision trouble in children these days are unhealthy lifestyle choices and poor nutrition. Gadgets that have brought the world closer have impacted the physical and mental health of the young generation and it is time to take back the reigns.




1. PREGNANT MOTHERS SHOULD EAT RIGHT. This ensures the healthy development of the baby in the womb.


2. ENGAGE IN VISUALLY STIMULATING ACTIVITIES/ GAMES. With every day the baby’s sight is developing and adapting to its environment. Engage the baby in activities that stimulate hand-eye coordination, introduce them to colourful toys and help them learn to focus on objects at varying distances by bringing safe objects towards the child from different angles.


3. PROVIDE A BALANCED DIET. The breastfeeding mother should continue with a nutrition-rich diet post-delivery to provide the baby with all required nutrients. Once the child begins consuming semi-solids and solid food, gradually introduce foods rich in vitamins and other nutrients that support overall development.

  • – Leafy Greens are rich in Vitamin A which prevents dry eye and night blindness.
  • – Oranges and citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C and E, which help in tissue rejuvenation.
  • – Omega 3 Fatty acids help prevent cataracts and AMD

4. USE PROTECTIVE EYE GEAR. If your child is diagnosed with poor vision, encourage him/her to wear the prescribed glasses diligently. Kids with or without eye problems must wear protective eye gear such as goggles or shields while indulging in activities that could harm the eyes.


5. LIMIT SCREEN TIME. While watching television or staring at the computer screen does not lead to poor vision, it can aggravate the condition in children with vision problems. Too much screen time is also a major cause of dry eye in kids. Over time it can even lead to the child having trouble focusing. Studies have actually shown a rise in myopic vision in children who spend too much time looking at the computer/ tab screen.


6. PROTECT THEIR EYES FROM UV RAYS. When stepping out in the hot sun, get your child to wear dark glasses or a hat to protect the eyes from the direct attack of sunlight.


7. TAKE YOUR CHILD FOR REGULAR EYE TESTS: Ideally your child’s first visit to the eye doctor needs to be scheduled after he/she turns two. If the doctor suspects vision issues, you may have to return periodically.




You can spot children’s eye problem symptoms by merely observing your child’s behaviour. Some signs to be alerted to are:


  • – Eye rubbing
  • – Persistent redness of the eyes
  • – Squinting or tilting the head while trying to focus on something
  • – Bringing objects close to their face for a better look
  • – Difficulty in focusing on distant objects
  • – Poor hand-eye coordination
  • – Sensitivity to light



Besides ensuring the environment is safe, parents must also teach their children to take caution and protect their eyes from injury. When you have toddlers and young children at home, you must take extra care to keep sharp objects out of reach. Similarly, children’s eye safety at school should be given top priority by the management.


Some safety measures to take that will protect your child’s eyes from injury:


  • Ensure rooms, play areas, and all spaces accessible to children have ample lighting and safety rails.
  • Make sure all furniture, playthings and all fixtures do not have sharp or splintered edges.
  • Young children should not be allowed to handle spray nozzles.
  • Hazardous solvents and powerful chemicals should be sealed tight and stored out of reach of children.
  • Paints, pesticides, and dangerous chemical cleaning supplies should be stored under lock and key.
  • Paperclips, scissors, staplers, tacks, safety pins, coat hangers, bungee cords and rubber bands are some items that can cause serious eye damage. They should be stored properly and used with care. Toddlers must handle these items under adult supervision only.
  • Ensure your child wears glasses, goggles, or a shield while playing sports that could lead to an eye injury.
  • Schools must provide children with protective gear while performing science experiments.
  • Teach your child to never look directly at the sun, especially during a solar eclipse.
  • Children should be allowed to play with toys that are age appropriate.
  • Avoid putting too much eye makeup on your child. Shimmer, glitter and even eyeliner can lead to allergies.

Parents and teachers must educate the children on eye health and how to prevent injuries. Kids should know how to protect themselves and prevent trauma to their eyes. Children who have already been diagnosed with specific eye issues must be encouraged to adhere to whatever exercises and practices the eye doctor has recommended. Parents should not ignore any complaints from the child with regards to visual disturbances, swelling or itching and redness. Visit the doctor immediately to prevent permanent damage.


Dr.PRASANNA VENKATESH KANDASAMY - Consultant - Paediatrician at Dr.Kamakshi Memorial Hospitals
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