How to Protect Your Child's Eyesight

Wednesday - 08.25.2021

Paying careful attention to your child's eye health can help catch vision problems early. Keep your child's eyes healthy from birth through the teen years with the eye health and safety tips below.

How Can I Help My Baby Develop Good Vision?

Help your baby develop good eyesight by:

  • Talk to your baby as you move about the room. This will encourage him to follow you with his eyes.
  • Hang a mobile above your baby's crib to encourage hand-eye coordination.
  • Place a toy on the floor within the focus of your baby's eyes – usually 8 to 12 inches away.
  • Promote good hand-eye coordination by encouraging your baby to crawl. Set a favorite toy barely out of reach so the baby must focus and move to grab it.
  • Watch your baby to make sure they are following moving objects with their eyes. If their vision development seems delayed, talk to your child's pediatrician.

How Can I Help My Toddler or School-Aged Child Develop Good Vision?

Encourage healthy eyesight in children by providing visually stimulating toys. They will encourage good motor and hand-eye coordination.

The best children's toys to promote healthy vision include:

  • Building blocks or Legos
  • Drawing tools like crayons, chalk, and markers, and a coloring book or paper
  • Finger paints
  • Modeling clay or Play-Doh
  • Pegboards
  • Puzzles
  • Stringing beads

How Can I Protect My Child's Vision?

Limit Screen Time

Computer eye strain has been linked to early myopia in children. Prolonged computer, tablet, and e-reader use forces your child to focus for long periods, which can stress the eyes. Also, make sure your child's workstation is set up correctly to fit their small size.

Symptoms of too much screen time include:

  • Dry or red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Eye twitching
  • Eye rubbing
  • Watery or tearing eyes

Use Protective Eyewear

Sports glasses will protect your young athlete's eyes from fast-moving balls and from flying dirt and dust.

  • Baseball and soccer mean fast-moving balls.
  • Basketball involves contact with players' arms and elbows, which can come in contact with eyes.
  • Competitive swimming requires waterproof swim goggles.

Shatter-resistant sports eyeglasses or goggles are essential to protecting your child's eyes during sports.

Sunglasses aren't just for adults. Help your child pick out a pair of quality, UV-blocking sunglasses. Encourage your child to wear them year-round while outdoors.

Encourage Your Child to Play Outdoors

Recent studies have found that children who spend more time outdoors have a significantly lower onset of new myopia (nearsightedness). So, it's a good idea to encourage your kids to spend more time outdoors and take a break from screened devices.

Have Your Child's Eyes Examined Regularly

Finally, schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child before the beginning of each school year.

If you believe your child has a vision problem, make an appointment with a pediatric optometrist soon.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarrell Dental & Eye

This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Sarrell Dental and Eye are licensed to practice in the state of Alabama and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.