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By having your child's eyes examined regularly and taking a few precautions, you can keep your kid's vision safe and healthy.


Your child's eyes should be examined during regular pediatric checkups, and vision testing should be conducted for all children starting around age 3, notes Madhuri Chilakapati, M.D., a pediatric ophthalmologist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Approximately 12 million children suffer from some form of vision impairment. In many cases, accidents and injuries cause the damage. According to Dr. Chilakapati, the key is to guard against a potential eye injury before it occurs.

Sports and Protective Eyewear

With sports being the leading cause of eye injuries in children, children should wear protective eyewear when participating in all sports and recreational activities, adds Dr. Chilakapati. Basketball, football, hockey, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf and water sports can all be dangerous to the eyes. Each sport requires a different type of protective eyewear, so consult an ophthalmologist or other eye care professional for help.

Computers and Kids

There doesn't appear to be any link between excessive computer use and long-term vision problems. However, short-term eye discomfort can be caused by excessive computer use. If your child complains of tired eyes or eye fatigue, limit his computer time to schoolwork only, and have your child's eyes checked out by an eye care professional.

Spotting a Problem

Good vision is important for a growing child's proper development and educational success, says Dr. Chilakapati. If your child has trouble with his vision, it might be a good idea to have him checked out by a pediatrician or eye specialist.
 
If you think your child has a vision problem, tell your doctor right away. Starting treatment early can help stop your child from losing his or her sight. Look for these signs:

  • Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding things close to the face to see them.
  • Squinting or tilting the head to see better.
  • Frequent eye rubbing when your child is not sleepy.
  • Crossing of one eye or moving from one side to the other.
  • Inability to focus on you as you walk across a room.
  • Excessive tearing.
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes.

Take Care of Your Eyes

  • Walk, dont run, with sharp objects such as scissors, pens, pencils and rulers.
  • Use good lighting to avoid tiring your eyes when reading, writing or cruising the Internet.
  • Wear proper eye protection when you are playing sports such as baseball and basketball.
  • Leave the fireworks to the professionals.
  • To avoid eye infections, do not share eye makeup or eye drops with anyone.
  • Use caution when using an aerosol can like bug spray, hair spray or WD40. Turn the pointer away from your face before spraying.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV radiation from the sun.
  • Wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding or roller-skating and wear your seatbelt in the car.
  • Tell your parents, school nurse or teachers if your eyes are bothering you.

Eat Your Carrots for Good Eyesight

Your mother probably told you to eat your carrots to help you see better. She was right.

Carrots are rich in Vitamin A (actually carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A). Vitamin A is very important for healthy eyes, skin and hair, and it helps our bodies grow and fight infections.

Carrots are also a good source of fiber and low in calories. One average carrot contains about 30 calories.

So, try to eat a carrot a day. Raw baby carrots make a great snack and are easy to pack in a lunch box.​​