Vision Health Month: Help Your Child Build Healthy Vision Habits

Vision Health Month: Help Your Child Build Healthy Vision Habits

May is Vision Health Month to bring awareness about the importance of eye health and how to prevent vision loss. Healthy vision is important for everyone and begins with good habits developed in early childhood. Starting off with good, clear vision as a child and identifying vision concerns in early development will help ensure your child has good eye health in the future. Lifestyle habits can have a huge impact on health. The earlier you introduce these concepts to your children, the easier it will be for them to adopt them. There are several habits that can reduce the risk of developing an eye disease and help children maintain good eyesight. This article will discuss some easy habits you can teach your child to help to promote healthy vision.


4 Healthy Vision Habits For Your Child

1. Eat A Healthy Diet
Good nutrition is a great way to promote children’s eye health and set them up for healthy habits that will last them a lifetime. While kids' eyes are still developing, it is essential that they are getting the proper nutrition for optimal vision. As a parent, you can do this by including certain foods into the meals you make that are high in nutrients like zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and omega 3 fatty acids. Eating a healthy diet has numerous health benefits, but getting the proper nutrition that promotes eye health will help protect your child’s eyes from damage and disease. Some examples of healthy foods that are great for vision and eye health include:

  • Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach
  • Fish such as tuna and salmon
  • Citrus fruits and berries
  • Vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, and beets

2. Have Your Child’s Eyes Checked Regularly
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children receive a comprehensive eye exam annually. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your child's vision is developing correctly or if they are seeing clearly. Children may not always alert you if they think something is wrong with their vision, and most of the time, eye health concerns do not show signs or symptoms until it is too late to repair the damage. This is why it is crucial for your child to receive annual eye exams so that your optometrist can detect any potential problems with their eye health and vision before your child suffers from irreversible vision loss. Visiting the eye doctor for a children's eye exam will also ensure quality of life for your child and that they see clearly for many years to come.

3. Limit Screen Time
Modern technology has been integrated into almost every aspect of all of our lives, especially for younger generations. Schools are now incorporating more screen use in their learning activities, and iPads and computer screens have become a normal part of everyday life for many kids. Although this technology serves as an entertainment and learning tool for kids, it is also causing strain and damage to their eyes. Negative effects of excessive screen use can include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Focus issues
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Trouble sleeping

To avoid these problems, limit screen time as much as you can with your child, especially right before bed. You can also put anti-glare screens on all of your electronic devices and encourage your child to participate in exercise and other physical activities that can keep them entertained and occupied while benefiting their health.

4. Get Outside And Use Eye Protection
Spending time outdoors and playing without any technology or screens is extremely beneficial to your child's overall health and helps them avoid developing eye concerns such as myopia. Participating in outdoor activities can also stimulate your child's senses and help them with their development. Like exercise for the body, being outside provides natural exercise for the eyes. 

Protecting your child's eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays from the sun is very important. Encourage your child to wear sunglasses from an early age so it becomes a habit for them to wear them every time they step outside. This will help ensure the longevity of quality vision throughout their lifetime. 

Pediatric Optometrist Calgary

Children’s eye health is an important part of their overall health and development. Following the healthy vision habits above, along with your eye doctor's recommendations will go a long way in ensuring your child's eyes are protected. Not only will these tips benefit their health but they will also set your child up for success in school as they will be able to see clearly and understand material much easier. Feel confident about setting healthy boundaries with your children when it comes to screen time to prevent them from developing digital eye strain symptoms. 

To find out if your child is at risk of eye health conditions such as digital eye strain or to book an eye exam to check the quality of their vision, contact Sunridge Eye Clinic. Our experienced optometrists can assess your child’s vision and develop a personal treatment plan to help them see clearly. Book a comprehensive children’s eye exam today by calling 1-403-280-7518 or book online.

FAQ

Q: How often do children need to visit the eye doctor?
A: It is recommended that children visit the eye doctor for an exam annually.

Q: How long is a comprehensive eye exam?
A: A comprehensive eye exam will last anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the tests performed by your optometrist.

Q: Is there a cure for lazy eye?
A: Yes, there is. Treatments for lazy eye are more successful when the condition is treated in early childhood. The condition typically responds well to strategies such as eye patches and wearing corrective lenses.


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