Have you noticed there are more and more children wearing glasses?
You might want to wear glasses as a sort of fashion accessory, but you definitely won’t feel so when you are about to eat piping hot “laksa”, or when your eyes shrink into bean-sized beads after taking down the spectacles… Can you bear to see your young ones to be in such picture?
Prevention is always better than cure. You can help your young ones to stay away from the eye problems, if you know what to look out for and how to help your child to take up good habits with regards to eye care. Let’s find out more here!
Does my child have eye problem?
Habits do give clues about the child’s eyes are doing. Moreover, early childhood is the crucial stage where most of the childhood visual problems begin to develop. Therefore, to save your child from eye problems, here are some warning signs that might tell your child that he is not seeing as well as he can:
i. Has problem to see the board clearly and it is hard to copy from the board; writing looks blurry.
ii. Consistently sits too close to the TV or hold a book too close.
iii. Squints the eyes or acts as if there is a vision problem. (*do differentiate this from the rapid blinking habit.)
iv. Constantly holds or tilts his head to one side.
v. Rubs the eyes frequently even when he is not sleepy.
vi. Sensitive to light.
vii. Shuts one eye to read or watch TV
viii. Avoids activities which require near vision, such as colouring or reading, or distance vision, such as playing ball or tag
ix. Complains of having headaches or tired eyes when your child has just read or written for a while only.
Don’t wait until it’s too late- solve it!
You may want to see some uniquely interesting tips in protecting our eyes, but here’s what I want to tell you: the commonest ways still work the best!
i. Reduce the undue eyestrain on your child by ensuring them to keep a distance of between 2.4m and 3m away from TV screen.
ii. Remind your child to avoid reading or watching TV (or Ipad) in dark. Educate him to do the activities under the best lightning condition, which consists of back light and dim general light in the room.
iii. Teach your child to blink softly every 2 to 4 seconds during all activities, including reading, working in front of the computer watching TV program and etc. It is to keep the eyes well lubricated and nourished. By consciously making effort to softly blink at this rate, body will turn the conscious efforts into a subconscious habit- and it can make a difference to the quality of his health over the long term.
iv. Emphasize on the importance of having the correct posture especially while watching TV. Don’t allow him to lie down while watching TV.
v. Exercise the eyes. Make it point for him to avoid staring at screen or books for long period of time. Ask him to look away from the picture or around the room every 20 minutes or so. Then close his eyes and slowly roll his eyeballs round clockwise 2 times and 2 times anti clockwise. With the eyes closed, look to the left and then to the right for 2 times; after that, do the same looking up and down. Also, teach him to look at something further away and focus on it while he counts to 10, and then look at the screen or page while he counts to 10. Repeat it for 5 time.
vi. Child always finds it curious to wear other’s glasses. Though it WON’T make him nearsighted or farsighted by wearing other’s glasses, still it can result in headache and eyestrain if he does it long enough. So, teach him to avoid it at all.
vii. Teach him not to rub his eyes when he gets something in it; instead he can approach an adult to help him, or if it is necessary, use the correct drops for his eyes. Avoid using the ones that someone else has used before.
viii. Make sure your child go outdoors in sunglasses especially there is bright sunlight. The sunglasses used should be up to Australian standards so as to protect his eyes from the sun damage. If not, a hat, shade umbrella, or the shade of tree will do too.
ix. Educate your child to care for the eyes of others as well. Child tends to be playful most of the time, and that’s why you have to keep an eye on him. Don’t let him to throw sand (or any other small things) at others, run with pointy objects or even use all forms of spray without warning others. When he is more careful with others’ safety, others will do the same to him as well.
So, are these tips good enough for you to teach your child? Just be a little bit more aware about his daily habits and educate him with patience. Sooner or later, he will get the hang of the habits!