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The importance of teaching your children about caring for their eyes

By Virginia Cunningham, Guest Blogger

Children typically don’t have trouble seeing and therefore don’t tend to give a lot of real thought to their eyes.

While it’s understandable that kids would take the health of their eyes for granted, it’s up to their parents to help make their kids aware of what needs to be done in order to maintain healthy vision.

While some eyesight issues can’t be prevented, proper habits can help to reduce the risk of having those problems, particularly later in life. If your kids can establish those habits early on, they’ll be less likely to struggle with common eye problems, or more serious things like cataracts, nearsightedness, farsightedness and marginal loss of sight.

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Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Health problems with the eyes typically take a long time to develop, so that means that the best solutions are ones that can be formed as habits over a long period of time, such as proper hygiene and eating right.

Let’s get into the specifics of how you can teach your children about taking care of their eyes:

Diet

Your kids might be familiar with the old adage that carrots are good for your eyes, which is true. However, it’s also true that a variety of vegetables, leafy greens and fruits all have vitamins and nutrients that can benefit your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy for a longer period of time.

Establish habits early on of regularly getting these food groups into meals and snack time. If you can do that from a young age, your children will likely prefer these healthy choices over less nutritious alternatives.

Hygiene

Hygiene is pretty straightforward when it comes to your eyes, so it’s easy to teach kids the basic protocol:

1. Avoid touching your eyes when your hands are dirty

This is just a matter of getting your kids to wash their hands whenever they’ve been outside or had their hands in something dirty. Make sure they know that it’s not good to rub or touch their eyes before they’ve done so.

2. Keep chemicals and household products out of your eyes

A lot of kids don’t even know that certain substances will sting or hurt when it comes into contact with their eyes. If you can save your child the trouble of having to learn by experience, that’s certainly preferable.

Make sure that your kids are familiar with the basic list of items that you should not get near your eyes, like cleaners, soaps and other household chemicals.

Eye Protection

One of the first rules of protecting your eyes is to never look directly at the sun, so make sure your kids know this as early as possible. Secondly, it’s a good idea for your kids to wear sunglasses that protect them from UV rays when the sun is particularly bright, or while riding in the car.

Dry eyes should be handled with saline eye drops on an as-needed basis. Kids’ eyes can dry out from playing outside or whenever there’s a lower percentage of moisture in the air. Typically, this will be characterized by itchiness or redness, though is easily treatable with a good artificial tear eye drop.

Knowing the Basics

If your child knows the basics about caring for their eyes, they can use that knowledge to help form good habits and maintain healthy eyesight.

While you can’t guarantee the health of your eyes, proper care will certainly help to improve your odds of healthy vision in the future.

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Virginia Cunningham is a freelance health writer for NorthWest and proud mother of three. In addition to teaching her kids about proper nutrition, educating them about the health of their eyes is a priority as well.

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3 comments on “The importance of teaching your children about caring for their eyes

  1. Richard
    October 14, 2013

    There’s a pet peeve I’ve had for many years and maybe you can VIisionMD can give your feedback on it or, if you agree, help to find ways to combat the problem.

    My pet peeve is people who go to the toilet, briefly put their hands under the faucet (without even using soap), and then shake their hands dry, splashing water all over, sometimes in one’s face or eye.

    I find this unsanitary. I never shake my hands dry like that. Even if there are no paper towels or electric hand dryer I prefer to rub my hands dry than shake them dry, or else I use tissue in my pocket if I have any, or just the sides of my pants.

    The action is especially unsanitary since, of course, most people at least have just touched their private parts at the urinal or, worse, returned from wiping themselves in the toilet. Even if they used soap their hands might not have been well washed; but many clearly go straight to the faucet and put their fingers under running water for a few seconds before splashing themselves dry!

    Do you have any opinions on this issue? Or perhaps you don’t find it an issue at all.

    Do you think advocacy could be done along the lines of having rest rooms put up a sign such as, RESPECT OTHERS: PLEASE DO NOT SHAKE YOUR WET HANDS DRY or something like that?

    Interested in your view or if you think one can catch an eye infection that way. Thanks.

  2. Soren "Spots" Black
    October 20, 2013

    Thanks for the information about eye protection. I think if more people took this to heart things would be a lot better in the eye care world. Great post.

  3. Amber
    January 6, 2014

    Too many people don’t think about eye care until a problem develops. Thanks for the great post!

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This entry was posted on October 8, 2013 by in Healthcare, The Eye and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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