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5 steps to protect your children's eyes

Maintaining the health of your children’s eyes is really important as it may help prevent them from having eyesight problems in later life. Young, developing eyes need careful consideration, especially as the lens is clearer and more sensitive, allowing more light to enter through to the back of the eye.

With up to 20% of children suffering from an undiagnosed sight problem, early treatment could help maintain healthy sight longer term.*

Below we suggest 5 ways you can maximise the health of your children’s eyes and help them enjoy great vision for the rest of their lives:

  • You are what you eat – a diet packed full of colourful fruit and veg ensures your children’s eyes (and the rest of their body) benefit from the vitamins and nutrients found in eye-boosting foods such as tomato, melon, grape, blueberry, fish, chicken, egg and wholegrain. It can be difficult to get younger children to eat certain foods. Make it fun by using a cookie cutter to cut fish. Spruce up dessert time by making a fruit kebab, they’ll love the novelty.
  • Encourage outdoor activities and play – various research studies suggest that children who spend a lot of time indoors are more at risk of developing myopia (short-sightedness). **
  • Invest in sunglasses that have a CE mark – this quality standard ensures that your children’s eyes are well protected from UV rays. Just as you would apply sunscreen, it’s important to protect eyes from the sun’s harmful and powerful rays.
  • Limit screen time – for older children, limit the amount of time they spend on mobile phones and tablets. You can also utilise the settings on newer models by switching on the ‘blue light filter’. Screens emit a blue light that reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain.
  • Take your child for a regular eye examination. Parents often assume their child will receive an eye test at school, but it’s not always the case. An optometrist will carry out a thorough examination of the eyes and can detect any issues such as lazy eye and vision problems. We advise your child has an eye test every two years unless otherwise instructed by a medical professional.

 

    *Data from Professor David Thomson, City University, London **https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24406412
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