As parents, we always want the best for our children – from providing them with a loving and nurturing environment to ensuring they have the best possible health and well-being. One essential aspect of their overall health that should never be overlooked is their vision. Your child’s eyes play a crucial role in their development and learning, making it vital to prioritize their eye health from an early age.
To shed light on the importance of children’s eye health, we reached out to our pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Rena Bascuña. With extensive experience in caring for young patients, Dr. Bascuña has a wealth of knowledge and insights to share. Here are seven essential things she wants all parents to know about their children’s vision:
Contrary to popular belief, children should have their first comprehensive eye exam much earlier than what many parents assume. Dr. Bascuña advises that children should undergo their first eye exam at six months of age. This early assessment allows us to detect any potential eye problems that might affect their visual development. Subsequent eye exams should be scheduled at age three and again before starting school.
One common misconception is that children will always express discomfort or complain if they have vision problems. However, this is not always the case. Children might not realize that what they see is not normal, as they have no basis for comparison. Dr. Bascuña emphasizes the importance of regular eye exams to catch any hidden vision issues that could affect their learning and development.
In today’s digital age, children are exposed to screens from an early age, be it smartphones, tablets, or computers. While technology can be educational and entertaining, excessive screen time can strain their eyes and lead to digital eye strain. Dr. Bascuña advises limiting screen time and following the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away. Encourage outdoor activities to give their eyes a much-needed break.
Proper lighting plays a significant role in preserving your child’s eye health. Dim lighting can strain their eyes, leading to discomfort and potential vision problems. On the other hand, excessive brightness can be just as harmful. Dr. Bascuña recommends ensuring a well-lit environment for reading and studying, avoiding glare from windows or light sources.
Clear vision is essential for your child’s learning and development. Undetected vision problems can hinder their ability to read, write, and participate in class effectively. As parents, we must be attentive to signs of difficulty in school tasks, squinting, frequent headaches, or rubbing of the eyes, as these might indicate vision issues.
For active kids who enjoy sports and outdoor activities, protective eyewear is a must. Dr. Bascuña stresses the importance of wearing sports goggles or protective eyewear that meets safety standards for sports like basketball, soccer, and racquetball. These measures can prevent eye injuries that might have long-term consequences on their vision.
A balanced diet not only benefits overall health but also supports eye health. Foods rich in vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, such as carrots, oranges, spinach, and nuts, promote healthy vision. Dr. Bascuña advises parents to incorporate these nutrient-rich foods into their children’s diet to support their visual development.
Remember, early detection and intervention are key to ensuring your child’s eye health and well-being. Dr. Bascuña and our dedicated team at Legazpi Eye Center are here to provide expert care and guidance for your children’s vision needs. We encourage you to schedule regular eye exams for your little ones and reach out to us if you have any concerns about their eyesight.
Love your children’s eyes and give them the gift of clear vision and a bright future. With proper eye care and attention, you can help your children see the world in all its beauty and wonder. At Legazpi Eye Center, one of our missions is to nurture their vision and support their growth and development to the fullest.