Tips On Keeping Your Child’s Eyes Healthy

Keeping Your child’s eyes healthy is just as important as the rest of his or her body.

Like most things related to health and wellness, the best care is preventative care.

There are a lot of ways you can protect your child’s eye health.

From eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy to keeping sharp objects away from your kid’s eyes, keeping your child’s eye health safe and secure is simple with a few tips to keep in mind.

Here are some common questions when it comes to safeguarding the health of your children’s eyes.

On Keeping Your Child's Eyes Healthy

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How Can I Keep Safeguard My Child’s Eye Health?

Eye health includes eyesight.

You do not want your child to wear glasses if they do not have to.

This is why you have to eat as your life depends on it. Having a nutritious diet will give your body and your baby’s body the fuel it needs to protect itself.

To shield your child’s eyesight, make sure that while you are pregnant you eat healthily. It is also recommended that you eat healthy after your pregnancy.

When you do both of these steps, you set your baby up for a healthy, clean slate. You will set an example for your children, inspiring them to eat healthily.

Your meals should incorporate things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and up to 12 ounces of fish a week. These healthy staples hold central antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein.

All of these crucial ingredients are known to be linked with eye health. You can find these in salmon, shrimp, canned light tuna, catfish as well as pollock. Be mindful that your children should avoid consuming shark, swordfish, mackerel, or tilefish. Their high levels of mercury can be detrimental to your child’s health.

Deep-water fish, leafy greens, eggs, carrots, berries, citrus fruits, nuts and beef all play a role in maintaining the health of you and your child’s eyes. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens have high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help ward off free radicals that may form in your child’s eyes. 

They also act as a defense mechanism to prevent macular degeneration as well as cataract formation. Eggs are rich in vitamin A and help prevent night blindness and dry eyes.

Of course, everyone knows that carrots are rich in beta-carotene. This important mineral is a precursor of vitamin A and keeps your child’s ocular structural integrity and promotes healthy functioning eye components.

Berries and fruits prevent your child from getting eye infections as well as other diseases. When eating nuts it is recommended that you give your child things like almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Dark meat and oysters also contain zinc which delivers vitamin A found in your liver to your retina.

This is crucial to ensuring your eyes’ continuous melanin production, which is primarily responsible for keeping your retinal photoreceptors, particularly the rods, to prevent night blindness.

Another simple way to protect your child’s eye health is to make sure they do not get their hands on toys with sharp edges. The toys should be age-appropriate that way you do not run the risk of a tragic accident.

Though playing with a Barbie or action figure from time to time is cool, but you also want to make sure that in addition to those cool toys, you are providing your child with toys that stimulate their visual development.

Now, when your baby is an infant, keep a close watch. Look for signs that the eyes are crossed or turned out. Watch for haziness or clouding in the pupil of your baby’s eyes.

When your kid goes outside, make sure to supply protection from the sun by either taking shelter or wearing UV coated sunglasses. This especially an important step if your child’s eyes are lighter in color.

If your child is athletic, make sure that he or she wears the proper protective gear when playing their favorite sport. A lot of accidents can happen on the field or court and you want to make sure that your child is safeguarded from the unexpected that can happen when playing a sport.

Most importantly, make sure that your child gets as regular eye exam especially during infancy and childhood. The ophthalmologist will better inform you, giving you a choice to keep you up to date on any potential causes of concerns, that way you can nip those issues in the bud or get a head start on treating them.

Close up portrait of young girl holding glasses with test chart in background - On Keeping Your Child's Eyes Healthy

How Can I Stimulate Good Eyesight In My Child?

There are plenty of ways that our eyesight has been compromised, and most of these ways are not done on purpose. There is just a simple lack of knowledge. No matter what, the goal is to make sure that your baby can follow moving objects with his or her eyes and the development of hand-eye coordination is on track.

To help your child develop good eyesight, there are a few things you can do and most of these things revolve around the toys your child will play with. You can make it a point to place toys only eight to 12 inches away from your baby, allowing your baby’s eyes to focus on that toy.

The toys that you give your child should offer visual stimulation, improve motor and eye-hand coordination. Some of these toys include things like building blocks, linking blocks, puzzles, stringing beads, pegboards, drawing utensils like pencils, chalk, crayons and markers, finger paints and molding clay. All of these objects and materials are known to help keep the eye health of your child in shape.

You should also motivate your baby to crawl as this can help with developing hand-eye coordination. Put your baby down and talk to your baby while you move around the room. This encourages your baby’s eyes to follow you, developing that crucial muscle. It may also be a good idea to hang a mobile above or right outside the crib.

Remember, you are not a doctor and you cannot fix everything. If you notice that your child’s ability to follow objects and pick up on hand-eye coordination is delayed, it is best that you consult with your child’s eye doctor.

If There Is An Eye Emergency, What Should I Do?

Eye injuries can be extremely painful. If not handled correctly and with care, you could ruin your child’s eyesight permanently. This is why it is important to know some common first aid tips in the event your child suffers an eye emergency.

If your child has spilled something in his or her eye and you are unsure of what is its, or if there is acid or alkaline substances in your child’s eye, it is recommended that you flush it with water for at least 20 minutes.

While your kid’s eye is being flushed, have someone else either call for medical help or your local poison control center. It is very important that you do not stop flushing your child’s eye until the medical professionals arrive or instructed otherwise.

Sometimes blunt objects can hit your child in the eye. When this happens make sure that you inspect the eye, checking for any bleeding, or if your child cannot open his or her eyelids. If this is the case, it is best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Sometimes the pain can persist and your child may want to rub his or her eye. Maybe your child’s eyes tear up all the time or your child may complain about blurry or double vision. This calls for the doctor, but until they can see the eye doctor, cover their eye with a cold pack for 15 minutes every hour.

If using an ice pack, be sure to wrap it in a damp cloth to protect the eye from the coldness of the ice pack.

Lastly, if your child has been injured with a sharp object, whatever you do, do not press on the eye or eyelid. Instead, cover the eye with a shield and seek a medical professional. If you do not have a shield, you can make one.

They are simple to make. All you need to do is cut out the bottom of a foam cup. Sometimes the sharp object can stay in the child’s eye, and if this is the case, it is recommended that you do not remove it. Cover the eye and leave that up to the medical professionals.

By following a few of these tips, you will be sure to keep your child’s eyes healthy and safe from any accidents. The best care is preventative and eating healthy is a part of that. Remember that your baby should have his or her eyes checked as often as your doctor recommends.

Many experts share different opinions on the frequency children should have their eyes screened and checked. Be sure to speak with your child’s doctor about what is the best plan of action.

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