Parents everywhere want their children to grow up healthy and happy. Part of that includes taking care of their eyes. Good eye care habits established early in life can help prevent eye and vision problems later on. Good eye care is also essential to a child’s learning and development. To help you and your children care for their eyes, we want to share some tips and tricks.
Regular Eye Exams
One of the most important parts of eye care for kids is regular eye exams. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, children should have their first eye exam at 6 months old. Then, you should have your child’s eyes examined at age 3, and then again before they start school. After that, they should have an eye exam every 1-2 years, or as recommended by their optometrist.
A comprehensive eye exam will help identify any potential eye diseases or vision problems, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. The early detection of these issues is crucial to getting proper and timely treatment and care. Plus, some eye problems, like lazy eye, can be corrected if detected early enough.
Limit Screen Time
Another step parents can take to keep their child’s eyes healthy is to limit screen time. In this increasingly digital age, kids are spending more time in front of screens than ever before. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends:
- Children aged 2 to 5 should be limited to 1 hour of screen time per day.
- Children aged 6+ should be limited to 2 hours of screen time per day.
Wear Eye Protection
Also, make sure that your kids wear proper eye protection when doing certain activities. For example, kids should wear protective eyewear when they’re playing sports or participating in activities that could result in eye injuries.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children wear polycarbonate lenses, which are impact-resistant and offer the most protection against eye injuries.
And finally, good nutrition also plays a role in your child’s eye health. Do your best to feed your child a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in vitamins and minerals that are important for eye health. For example, foods that are high in Vitamin A, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens, are great for maintaining good eye health.
How to Recognize Possible Vision Problems in Your Child
If you notice any of the following symptoms or that your child is complaining of any of these, schedule an eye exam right away. There could be an underlying issue related to your child’s eyesight.
- Frequent headaches
- Eye pain or squinting/rubbing of the eyes
- Issues with paying attention in class or a sudden drop in grades
- Holding reading material close to their eyes or sitting too close to screen
Take Care of Your Child’s Eyes as Well as Your Own
Taking care of your child’s eye is just a part of taking care of their overall health and well-being. Establishing good eye care habits from a young age can prevent vision issues down the road and help set your child up for a lifetime of proper eye care. This includes scheduling regular eye exams, limiting screen time, providing proper eye protection, and promoting a nutritious diet.
Hakim Optical is committed to helping Canadian parents take care of their children’s eyes and ensuring they have healthy vision for life.
Hakim Optical has provided Canadians with quality corrective lenses at a value that can’t be beat for over 55 years. Our knowledgeable staff and optometrists are here to help you find an eyewear solution tailored specifically to you.