Search Directory

Taking Care of Your Children’s Eye Health

on 09/12/2013 1264

Children’s eye health is often taken for granted by many parents.

We pay much attention to our kids’ monthly vaccinations and always on the look out for the first sign of fever or flu. But we may overlook the importance of maintaining our kids’ eye health. And usually when a vision or eye problem rises, it is often too late.

It is important to have regular vision acuity tests done for your children so that you are able to look out for any problem your children may or may not face. It is often not enough to just rely on the pediatrician’s test done on your baby when he or she was an infant. Follow up check ups need to be done at least when they’re 6 months old, 3 years old and before they enter school.

With regular vision acuity tests, you’re able to protect and maintain your children’s eye health and gain useful insight in how vision or eye problem is not limited to just not able to see something clearly. There have been cases reported where children who have abnormal vision acuity test results are diagnosed with other ailments like brain tumor or nerve damage.

So it definitely doesn’t hurt to have your children’s eye checked regularly.

The usual symptoms of vision or eye problem includes but not limited to:

  • Difficulty paying attention – We may believe that our children have short attention span when we try to teach them the alphabets but not being able to pay attention also points to vision or eye problem
     
  • Headaches and eye pain – This is usually a sign of eye problem that may have been caused by an accident that inflicted the eye
     
  • Holds books/objects too close to the face – Children with vision problem tend to see in double or blurry vision


While many believe that vision or eye problem is usually hereditary and will only worry if there’s a family history of such problems, many pediatricians and ophthalmologist are encouraging parents to have their children’s eye checked out anyway for an official result on the children’s eye health.

You can encourage and maintain good eye health for your children too if your children do not have any vision or eye problem.

Nurturing Good Eye Health
 

  1. Even from your pregnancy stage, you can already start to encourage and develop good eyesight for your baby. Eating right and getting enough nutrients during pregnancy can help to boost your child’s eye health. And if you’re breastfeeding, it’s equally important for you to eat right as all the good things you’re getting from your diet will be in your breast milk.
     
  2. You can always choose to provide nutritious meals for your children and family. Choosing a diet that has many antioxidants like berries, potatoes, carrots and artichoke as well as nutrient-packed foodstuff like Greek yogurt, mushrooms, apples, almonds, broccoli and oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines can not only boost your children’s immunity system but also improve and maintain his eye health as well.
     
  3. Maintaining good eye health is not only through your diet but also by the physical things around you. You can protect the safety of your children’s eye by providing them with age-appropriate toys that are made from safe materials and do not have sharp edges. As your child grow and able to protect his own eyes, it’s always wise to ensure that your children are playing with safe toys that will not hurt or damage his eyes.


In Case of Emergency

No matter how careful we are, accidents happen and there’s nothing we can do about it. But we can help to reduce the damage or at least control it so that it will not worsen any condition your children are already in. 
 

  1. Substances – If dangerous or chemical substance has come in contact with your child’s eye, quickly wash his eye/s under running water for at least 20 minutes. If your child can’t open his eyelids and there’s continuous pain, bring him to see the doctor immediately
     
  2. Objects
  • Blunt – Examine the eye thoroughly. If you see any bleeding in the eye or your child can’t open his eyelids, bring him to the doctor
     
  • Sharp – Do not try to reduce the bleeding by pressing on his eye. Make a cover to shield the eye (cut off the bottom of a paper or Styrofoam cup) and hold it in place all the way to the emergency room. If you can see or think that the object is still stuck in your child’s eye, DO NOT attempt to remove it.
     
  • If your child is not hurt or the injury is controllable, use a cold pack to soothe the eye every 10 – 15 minutes. Do not place an ice pack directly on your child’s eye as this can damage his eyes from the freezing. Use a damp cloth and wrap the ice pack instead and gently press on his eye until the pain goes away.

 

As children are active and tend to be accident-prone, it’s always good to teach your children about the importance of keeping his eyes healthy and protecting them from harmful objects.