According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), up to 20 percent of children have vision problems, many of them undiagnosed and untreated. If you don’t want your little one to become part of this troubling statistic, follow these tips.
Watch Out for the Signs
The best way to maintain your child’s eye health is to ensure that minor problems are never allowed to grow into major ones. Here are a few common symptoms of compromised eyesight.
-Rubbing at the eyes
-Itchy, watery or swollen eyes
-Shapes or “blobs” appearing in vision
-Changes in pupil shape or color
If you notice any of these symptoms in your children, especially young children, think about contacting an optometrist.
Remove the Stigma from Wearing Glasses
It isn’t uncommon for children to be embarrassed about wearing glasses. The important thing to remember is that this attitude is taught, not inherited, and you can change your child’s mind by educating them differently.
Use positive and encouraging language when speaking of glasses. Let them pick out fun, colorful frames. Don’t tease them, even harmlessly, about what they look like with their glasses on. Don’t make buying glasses a chore to be endured. Places like the Marvel Optics Online Eyeglass Store can send them straight to your home.
How your child feels about their glasses will depend on the reactions of the people around them. Make sure your reactions are good ones.
Beware the Sun
Sunlight can hurt even the healthiest of eyes, but children are at a higher risk of damage from ultraviolet radiation (UV). This is partly because of the young, undeveloped crystalline lenses in their eyes; they’re less capable of filtering out UV than adult eyes. Children also spend more time outside than the average grown-up, so they’re exposed to more UV on the whole. The World Health Organization has suggested that as much as 80 percent of lifetime UV damage is accumulated before the age of 18.
Hats or sunglasses are a must if your child spends a significant amount of time outdoors. If they’re into sports, buying the right kind of helmets and athletic sun visors can also make a big difference. Additionally, you might want to teach them not to stare directly into the sun. This is a good habit for their entire life.
Eyesight is a precious commodity that can’t be recovered once it’s lost. If you’re serious about maintaining your child’s vision, use these tips to ensure that they can always see your hugs coming.