Keeping little eyes safe
Did you know that children should be having their eyes checked from the age of three onwards? Read on to find out why.

 

Eye tests can help pinpoint serious conditions such amblyopia, or lazy eye, and help prevent permanent blindness. Just as importantly, looking after your child’s eyes can help them succeed at school, as it’s been found that vision problems may prevent progression in reading and writing.

According to research done by Specsavers, 53% of New Zealanders have not taken their child/children to an optometrist* And, because children often don’t realise there’s something wrong (even though their vision is blurry, they may think that everyone else sees like that, too), eye issues often aren’t picked up.

What eye issues should I look out for?

Your pre-schooler might have vision issues if they blink frequently, lose their place when reading or have a high sensitivity to light. Other indications are closing or covering one eye when reading, complaining of headaches or failing to see a friend in the distance, or spot an airplane in the sky.

Also look out for a child who rubs their eyes or squints, and unusual head postures, such as tilting their head to one side when watching television. A child who does that is using their nose to block out the blurriness. To keep your child’s eyes in tip-top health, book your pre-schooler in for an eye examination every two years at an optometrist.

3 ways to protect developing eyes

  • When your child is reading, make sure the room has good, even lighting and discourage them from lying on the floor and reading.
  • When using a computer, make sure the room has even room lighting and that your child takes a break every few minutes and looks around the room. When playing computer games, sit as far back as the leads allows.
  • When watching television, make sure your child has a small light on in the room - the room shouldn’t be totally dark – and position the TV set at eye level, or just slightly below.
  • Ensure your child is eating well. Nutrients such as Vitamin A help support visual function, Omega 3 help support brain and eye development and Lutein, an antioxidant, help support developing eyes.

 

 

* Independent survey commissioned by Specsavers which captured responses of 1,549 New Zealanders.

This article was written for Kidspot by Specsavers

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