Eye care tips for children

Not sure how to take care of your little one's eyes? Here's an article to help you.

By Dr Bina John

Eye care tips for children

Common eye problems in children include myopia or short sight where the child does not see distant objects clearly, and hyperopia or long sight where the child cannot see nearby objects clearly. Both short and long sight require correction with glasses.

Some tips to protect your child's eyes:

  • Children who need to wear glasses should be encouraged to wear them.
  • Plastic frames and impact-resistant lenses are best for children.
  • Children with a family history of eye problems should get their eyes checked at an early age with yearly follow-ups.
  • Outdoor activities should be encouraged.
  • Take time to have an eye exercise for your child everyday. 
  • Restrict computer games and TV-watching.
  • While reading, books should be kept at a distance of at least 25 cm from the eye with light falling on the book from behind.
  • Squinting is not a sign of good luck. A child with a squint should be seen by an eye doctor to rule out serious eye problems.
  • Children should avoid playing with toys that have sharp and pointed ends.
  • Diet should include red and green vegetables like spinach, carrots and beetroot; milk products; yellow fruits like papaya and mango; and fish for non-vegetarians.
  • Protective eye-wear needs to be used in contact sports; sunglasses should be used when going out in the hot sun; goggles must be used while swimming.

Taking care of your child's eyes might not feel as important as his diet, but eyes are an important part of your child's health and they should be given at most importance. 

Invest some time in research about what are the best foods to improve your child's vision and things to know about healthy eyes for your child. 

Expert inputs from Dr Bina John is the chief medical officer and senior paediatric ophthalmologist at Rajan Eye Care, Chennai.