Eye Care Habits Parents Should Teach Their Children

by | Feb 22, 2024

Teaching your children proper health and safety is essential to prevent harm and disease. Among the many health areas you need to look out for, it’s important not to overlook eye health. 

According to this research on eye disorders, most people — even doctors — aren’t familiar with vision issues that can affect children. Unfortunately, vision-related disorders are common among children.

It’s estimated that 19 million children below the age of 14 years are visually impaired. The cause? Uncorrected errors of refraction.

As such, it’s important to instill essential eye care practices and habits at a young age. Below, we’ll share some eye care habits that parents should teach their children:

Wear sunglasses

Children love to play. At their age, they are likely more exposed to sunlight, especially when spending time playing outdoors.

While a little sunshine exposure can be healthy, too much can damage your child’s eyes.

The first line of protection for your children’s eyes is a pair of sunglasses. Shades can protect their eyes from the sun and harmful UV rays. If your child needs vision correction, you can also opt for prescription lenses for their sunglasses.

You can also choose polarized sunglasses so your kids aren’t distracted or blinded by annoying glare.

Eat a healthy diet

We all know the importance of a well-balanced diet, but eating healthy can also benefit eye health. While children may be intimidated by greens and other vegetables, many healthy foods help boost ocular health.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some fabulous foods for eye health include sweet potatoes for some much-needed vitamin A and fruits such as cantaloupe and apricots.

Fish like salmon and tuna are also good for the eyes, thanks to the omega-3 fatty acids they contain.

Take breaks from screen time

Nowadays, imagining doing anything without a digital gadget can be difficult. Both children and adults frequently use smartphones, for example, for work, study, and entertainment. However, it’s important to prevent overexposure to these digital screens.

Blue light emitted from smartphones, tablets, and laptops can exacerbate eye strain and disrupt sleep. This doesn’t mean you should entirely cut off digital use for your little ones. Instead, teach them to take regular and frequent breaks from screens.

For example, they can help with a chore or step outside for fresh air during these breaks. It also helps to limit screen time close to their bedtime so they can get a good night’s sleep.

Set an example

Finally, the best way to ensure these eye care habits stick with your children is by practicing them yourself. In our post on things you should teach your three year old, we highlighted how kids like to copy what they see.

This includes chores, talking, and “cooking.” The same can be done with eye care habits.

For example, you can wear glasses or sunglasses regularly to help instill the habit with them. You can also buy matching sun hats with your children to practice sun safety.

It would be an excellent way to teach the habit and protect their eyes from the sun while looking stylish.

Ultimately, you should teach your children many essential eye care habits. This includes wearing the right eye protection tools, from glasses for vision correction to sunglasses for sun protection.

Kids should also learn not to spend too much time on their smartphones and tablets.

Of course, the best way to do this is by showing them that the rules apply to you as well. If you want your kids to wear sunglasses when outdoors, you should also do so.