Children develop their visual skills as they grow but not every child will possess strong vision. A weak eyesight is often associated with either a) near-sightedness (myopia) or b) far-sightedness (hyperopia).
Eye exercises keep the muscles well-toned and ensure the ophthalmic nerves receive a steady supply of blood, which lead to improved vision.
The article, 'Best Eye Exercises for Kids,' published in RebuildYourVision, states that teaching your children to pretend to write something on an empty wall with their eyes is a very good exercise.
Why eye exercises?
1) Eye exercises are safe for children to practise.
2) These exercises are easy and can be done within a short period.
3) Even young children can be taught basic eye exercises to improve their vision.
4) A lens, whether it is in the form of a glasses or contacts will do nothing to improve vision. Eye exercises can help to correct poor vision.
5) Eye exercise are ideal for children of varied ages.
Related article: To know more about eye care tips for your child, click here.
Simple eye exercises for children
Regular eye exercises help not only to battle eye strain but also improve focus as well as concentration. You should help them understand the importance of caring for their eyes. Be sure to supervise your children with these exercises in the beginning until they can handle the eye exercises on their own.
Look at some simple eye exercises that you can make your children follow for better eyesight
• Exercise 1:
Make your child hold a pencil at an arm’s length and tell him to focus on it. Let your child slowly bring the pencil closer to his nose. Make him move the pencil farther from his vision until he can no longer keep it in focus. This exercise can be repeated about 9 to 10 times a day.
• Exercise 2:
Make your child roll his eyes in clockwise direction for a few seconds. After this, the eyes should be rolled in counter-clockwise for a few seconds. This exercise should be repeated four to five times.
• Exercise 3:
Try to make your child flutter his eyelids by rapidly and repeatedly blinking his eyes 20 to 30 times. After this, the eyes should be closed for rest. This should be done twice daily.
• Exercise 4:
Take your child outside when the sun is shining and tell him to close his eyelids. Allow the sun to shine on your child’s closed eyelids. Instruct him to breathe deeply. Do this exercise daily for a few minutes.
• Exercise 5:
Tell your child to imagine a large clock. Tell him to look at where the center of the clock would be, then imagine a number and look at where the number would be on the clock. Once done, he should look back to the center. This exercise should be repeated at least 10 times a day.
• Exercise 6:
Hook a ball to some string or even a shoe lace and hang the ball so that it is even with your child’s nose. Swing the ball and ask your child to watch the ball closely. He should follow the movements of the ball only with his eyes. Repeat this exercise while swinging the ball from side to side.
• Exercise 7:
Light a candle and place it to your left. Try to read a little every day in the candle light. Do not forget to blink your eyes every 5 seconds.
• Exercise 8:
Close your eyes and stand facing the sun. Place your legs shoulder-width apart and lift one leg up at a time, moving it like a pendulum. Practise this exercise for a minute every day.
• Exercise 9:
Throw a ball with the right hand and catch it with the left. Then, throw it in the reverse direction. Watch the movement of the ball as you throw it. Remember to blink every time you catch the ball with one hand. Make sure you throw the ball lower than eye level.
• Exercise 10:
Bounce the ball with one hand and catch it as it comes up with the other hand. The ball should bounce in V-like motion. Follow the movement of the ball with your eyes. Repeat with other hand.
Related article:Best foods for healthy eyes in children
Healthy habits for your eyes
• You should blink your eyes every 5 minutes because if you do not blink your eyes for a long time, it will start drying up.
• Try to avoid reading from a book, mobile or laptop while travelling.
• Do not stay late into the night as straining your eyes to look at objects in the dark are bad for your eye.
• Do not read in very bright light or in dim light. Read only when lighting is appropriate.
• Avoid staring too long at devices such as television and mobiles.
As parents, it is our duty to ensure we start our children early on the above-mentioned eye exercises. An early start will not only make your child’s eyesight strong but will ensure they do not have to rely on glasses and lenses later in life.
Simple eye exercises coupled with a good diet will help your little on enjoy the benefits of naturally healthier eyes.
With inputs from Lakshmi Balakrishnan