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.
TIPS AND HEALTHY PRACTICES TO PROTECT YOUR CHILD’S SIGHT
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.
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.
SYMPTOMS OF EYE PROBLEMS
You can spot children’s eye problem symptoms by merely observing your child’s behaviour. Some signs to be alerted to are:
CHILDREN’S EYE SAFETY
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:
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.
CONSULTANT – PAEDIATRICIAN
MBBS,DIPLOMA IN CHILD HEALTH, M.D (PAEDIATRICS)