Your vision is usually at peak performance during childhood with most vision problems and eye diseases developing as we age. However, this is all the more reason to take steps to proactively protect your child’s vision. 80 percent of a child’s learning is done visually so caring for their eyes is one of the most important things you can do as a parent.

The American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO) has named August “Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month”. During these early years, children may find themselves vulnerable to injuries or other vision problems. Here are six ways you can proactively protect your child’s vision:

 

  • Encourage a healthy, balanced diet

 

Okay, if you groaned when you read this tip we completely understand. Children are often not the most open-minded when it comes to trying new foods or eating anything green. But nutrition is one of the biggest contributors to optimal vision in children.

Offer your child foods that contain plenty of carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc as all of these nutrients are important for good eye health.

 

  • Limit screen time

 

In our digital age, it’s no small feat to get children to turn off the electronics. But try to restrict the amount of time your child spends watching television or using digital devices. If you do allow screen time have them take frequent breaks to rest their eyes.

 

  • Watch out for signs of trouble

 

This can be tricky as young children have a hard time communicating. And many children will not even be aware that anything is wrong. Keep an eye out for things like unexplained falls, difficulty in school, headaches, or other sudden changes.

 

  • Protect their eyes from the sun

 

You should be just as diligent about protecting your child’s eyes from the sun as you are their skin. Encourage outdoor play but always make sure your child wears a hat and sunglasses that offer UV protection.

 

  • Schedule yearly eye exams

 

The best way you can protect your child’s vision is by scheduling yearly vision exams. Once they are in elementary school, the school will often give them vision screenings. However, vision screenings are not a replacement for eye exams.

Vision screenings are far less in-depth and often miss many vision problems. During an eye exam, your doctor will examine not just your child’s vision but the overall health of their eyes. And many other health problems can be detected during eye exams.

Contact us today to schedule your child’s yearly vision exam with one of our doctors.

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