Sight is one of the most important senses we have. Our eyes are working all day from the moment we wake up until we close them at night to go to sleep. They help us to connect with the world and the things around us, give us depth of perception, and enable us to judge distance and the size of objects so we move around safely. Sight also plays a crucial role in children’s learning.
There are many things we can do to help keep our children’s eyes healthy and make sure their sight/vision is working normally.
- If there is a family history of eye problems, make sure that you get your child’s eyes tested before the age of two. Even if there is no family history, it is important to test their eyes and the best time for an eye test is before your child starts school.
- Today, kids start schooling at an early age. They spend a lot of time reading, writing and staring at computer screens and other devices. This can cause eyestrain, headaches and – over time – nearsightedness. Children should be encouraged to take frequent breaks and to rest their eyes for 20-30 minutes between each activity.
- Eye allergies are very common in the region, due to the frequent exposure to sand and dust, temperature variations, and air conditioning. This can cause children to rub their eyes excessively. They may also complain of stinging and burning eyes and you should wash the child’s eyes with clean water, the moment you notice any itchiness or discomfort, to quickly soothe the surface of the eye.
- Encourage your child to wear sunglasses and/or a wide brim hat when playing outside in strong sunlight, and make sure that they wear goggles while swimming.
- Most eye injuries amongst children happen in the home and toys are the cause of many of them. It is important to choose toys that are safe for your child and also appropriate for their age.