What can you do to protect your child’s gift of vision?
Without an iota of doubt, babies born these days are ranking much higher in Intelligence Quotient compared to the previous generations. They are superfast when it comes to learning numbers, languages and for that matter anything under the sun. The millennial babies are grasping their ABCs much before their parents ever could.
However, everything is not rosy with this generation. With the fast-paced life globally, kids these days are falling prey to illness which was a rarity previously. Mum and dad both being busy, kids are being introduced to screens pretty early on whether to calm down their cranky mood or to make them eat their food faster. Research has shown that this is leading to a generation of screen addicts with a high chance of multiple vision problems.
In this article we will try to figure out how parents can secure their child’s gift of vision.
1. Minimum exposure to Electronic Devises:
Ophthalmologists recommend that children take a break after every 30 minutes of reading, writing or playing games on screens like smartphones and tablets. Doctors especially emphasis on reducing the time spent on electronic devices like the later.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), entertainment media should be made available to children for a maximum of 1 to 2 hours a day. Television, laptop and other entertainment media should be avoided for children and infants below the age of 2 since a child’s brain develop rapidly during these years and children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.
2. Incorporating more Outdoor Activity for kids:
Research shows that children who spend more time outdoors have fewer chances of suffering from myopia. Hence, increasing a child’s time spent on outdoor activities like playing in a park, swimming or cycling is helpful. These outdoor activities not just improve physical fitness and socialization skills but improves hand-eye coordination as well. However, it is recommended to avoid outdoors during the hot and humid summer months, especially during the hottest part of the day, typically from 11 am to 4 pm.
3. Protection against sun damage:
To protect your child’s vision from the harmful rays of the sun, invest in good quality sun-gears like sunglasses with 100% UV Protection, umbrellas and hats are also to be incorporated in to our daily outdoor wear.
4. Proper diet:
Vegetables and fruits that are high in lutein and zeaxanthin are helpful in protecting the eyes against free radical damage. These nutrients are found in spinach, kale, avocado, brussels sprout, egg yolk, corn, orange, grapes, kiwi, zucchini etc. Eating fatty fish that are high in Omega 3 fatty acid like salmon and tuna also helps in the development of the eyes.
5. Regular eye check-ups:
Good vision is extremely important to a child’s overall well-being. Doctors highly recommend regular vision check-up for children right after they are born, during infancy (between 6 months to 1 year) and throughout their pre-school and school going years, failing which at least once around age of 4-5, when child starts going to school and any refractive intervention can reverse any visual deficiency.
6. Develop and incorporate healthy eye-care habits:
Ensure there is adequate light when your child is reading or playing. Keep your child 30cm to 40 cm away from the book while he or she reads. The distance between your child’s eye and any electronic device should be minimum 50 cm. Also, it is important to rest your child’s eyes and get at least 8 hours of sleep in a day to avoid putting strains on the eyes.
If you have further queries about how to safeguard your child’s gift of vision, want regular check-ups or looking for treatment, kindly reach out to our experts at IMH. International Modern Hospital Ophthalmology Department offers treatment of eye diseases with high level medical technology including diagnostic, surgery and non-surgical treatment by highly trained and accredited ophthalmologists. Your little one’s window to the world is safe in our hands!