Eye Health Tips for Children: Eye Care, Protecting Eye Sight, Handling Eye Emergency

It is a common sight these days to see children as young as 5 or 6 years wearing power glasses. A good eyesight is one of the major ‘good health’ sign of a child, also a child being devoid of any eye sight problems is a primary care needed to be given by parents.

The most common eye problem in children is myopia (short sightedness or nearsightedness). It can be avoided by a few good practices, including good food habits in daily life.

Eye Health Tips
Eye Health in Children

 Eye Health Tips for Children

  1. During Pregnancy: Let your Child’s eye care begin as you soon as you are pregnant. Eat right, eat healthy right from when you are pregnant.  Vitamin and mineral rich foods,    apart from giving surplus benefits, ensures good health of the fetus inside your womb as well.

        Also Read: Diet During Pregnancy – First Trimester  and Diet For Second Trimester of Pregnancy for Indian Women: What to Eat and What to Avoid

  1. After Pregnancy: Take extra care in what you eat, how you eat etc., even after pregnancy.  Even as the baby grows up, be an example to him as a healthy eater.
  1. Make sure your child eats food rich in beta-carotene, which is very important for good eyesight. Eggs, Green Leafy vegetables, Vegetables such as carrot, beetroot, broccoli, sweet potato, Orange and yellow coloured fruits such as papaya, mango are rich in beta-carotene (Vitamin A)

        Check out our article on Easy Ways To Include Carrot In Your Child’s Diet – Carrot Recipes for Kids

  1. Educate the children on the importance of nutrients and make them happily consume them.    Read About: Tips To Handle Kids’ Eating Tantrums                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  2. Proper lighting is absolutely necessary while reading/writing.                                                                                                                                                                                                           
  3. A distance of 12 to 14 inches should be maintained between the child’s eyes and the book.                                                                                                                                            
  4. Follow a strict discipline with regards to screen time. The increase in the number of cases of short sight among children was majorly due to excessive watching of TV/Computer/Mobile etc.                                                                                                         
  5. Take care not to let your child play with a sharp toys, especially babies. Age appropriate toys are recommended.                                                                                        
  6. Playing outside, especially under the evening sun apparently lowers the chances of children getting eyesight problems. Also, ensure children wear with proper safety guards/athletic wear while playing games like cricket. Glasses made of polycarbonate can keep the eyes safe from accidents.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  7. Some children might develop a habit of rubbing the eyes. Keep telling them not to do that.                                                                                                                                             
  8. Don’t expose the babies to air-conditioned air or do not make them sleep close or opposite to A/C, as it can cause dry eyes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
  9. As an infant, activities like hanging toys/things from the top of this crib/cradle, engaging him by making noises/talking as you keep walking around, making him crawl prompting him to reach the object kept away etc, improves hand-eye co-ordination.                                                                                                                                                           
  10. As he grows up, engage him in activities that improves hand-eye co-ordination, such as, stringing beads, stacking up, building blocks, jigsaw/plug-in puzzles etc.                                                                                                                                                                         
  11. For children of 7 years and above, doing some simple eye exercises regularly can be of help.                                                                                                                                             
  12. An easy symptom of eye problems in children is when he squints the eyes to focus and see the far off objects clearly. If yes, check with the doctor for short sight. Squinting makes the eyes accommodate to focus properly and when becoming a habit, tires the eyes and affects the eye health eventually.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
  13. Get the child’s eyes examined periodically, right from infancy through his childhood.

How To Handle Eye Emergency?

  1. Check and ensure your infant’s eyes are not crossed. Also, check if the baby can move his eyes, according to the moving object/person in front of him. If no, talk to your doctor.                                                                                                                                                                     
  2. As a 6 month old, the baby should be able to respond to different colours, identify faces etc. If there is any sluggishness, consulting an eye doctor is necessary.                                                                                                                                                                           
  3. When a sharp eye hits the child’s eye, seek immediate medical attention. If the object is still stuck to the eye, don’t remove or pull it out. Do not press on the eye or eyelid. Call for medical help immediately.                                                                                                   
  4. When a blunt object hits the child’s eye, check for bleeding or any other visible injury. If there is bleeding or if the child cannot open his eyes, visit the doctor immediately.                                                                                                                                                            
  5. If the child keeps rubbing one or both his eyes or simply complains of constant pain, sudden blurred vision or double vision, give cold pack massage on the eyes for 10 minutes or so. Do not keep the cold pack directly on the eyes, wrap it in a towel. Consult with the doctor anyway.                                                                                                                                                                        
  6. If any liquid gets into the child’s eyes, wash with water continuously, at least for 20-30 minutes. If there is redness, pain or itching, consult the doctor.

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