Eye Health for Children
Maintaining good eye health in children is crucial for their overall well-being and development. Vision problems in children can lead to difficulties at school, trouble with hand-eye coordination, and other issues that can impact their daily lives. Regular eye tests are the best way to ensure that children’s eyes are healthy and that any problems are identified and treated early.
Your child should have their first eye test within 72 hours of birth, followed by another between six and eight weeks of age, and a further check-up when they are either one-year-old, or between two and two-and-a-half. They will be checked when they start school and, after that (unless any issues are flagged), routine eye tests will be carried out at the optician.
Maintaining good overall health is crucial for good eye health. This includes ensuring your child has a balanced diet, including fruit and vegetables, such as spinach, red peppers, kale, avocado, peaches and blueberries.
Over-exposure to the sun can cause vision problems, such as watering eyes and even burn damage. UV rays can cause conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration, and so it is paramount that your child’s eyes are protected when they are in the sun. Buy good quality sunglasses with 100% UV400 protection, avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm, and ensure your child wears a wide-brimmed hat to reduce their exposure.
Computer and screen use can also affect children’s eyes. Blue light, which emanates from devices, can contribute to poorer sleep and affect your child’s concentration levels, and focusing on something close to your eyes for any period of time can result in eye strain.
How to keep eyes healthy
Outdoor activity can prevent short-sightedness in children, and filters can reduce (but not eliminate) the blue light from screens. Making sure your child has an eye test every two years, or as per optometrist advice, is key to continuing good eye health.