What are some ways to improve a child's vision health?
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Parents and caregivers play a big role in keeping their child’s eyes healthy. There are many things that can improve a child’s vision, which help their overall health and well-being, including:
- Tell children to let a parent or teacher know if their eyes hurt, if they have blurry vision, or trouble seeing. These could be signs of vision issues, which should be checked by an eye doctor.
- Eating veggies and fruit (such as leafy greens, like spinach and kale, and foods with Vitamin C, like strawberries and oranges) and fish (like salmon, tuna, and halibut).
- Being physically active can help keep a healthy body weight. A healthy body weight can lower the risk of diabetes and other issues that can affect vision in the future.
- Children should always wash their hands before touching their eyes to reduce the spread of germs to the eyes.
- Good safety habits, such as wearing helmets with face shields for hockey, or sunglasses for biking, can keep eyes safe from injury.
- Keep children out of the sun when the sun’s rays are the strongest. Shield eyes from the sun’s harmful rays by wearing sunglasses that block 99% or 100% of both UVA and UVB rays; and making sure children wear a hat or baseball cap when outdoors. Also, remind children to avoid looking right at the sun.
- Spending a lot of time looking at a computer, phone, or TV screen can tire the eyes. Give eyes a rest with the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
- If children are using tablets and cell phones, and watching TV, make sure they take breaks every 30 minutes and limit screen time to one hour per day until the child is nine years old.
- Many eye diseases run in the family. Find out if anyone in your family has an eye disease.
- Eye exams are important for keeping child’s eyes healthy and making sure they have no vision problems that can affect their school work or their safety. Some common health conditions can be found during an eye exam and can often be treated if found early.