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5 Vital Habits to Teach Your Kids for Lifelong Vision Health
Health and Fitness

5 Vital Habits to Teach Your Kids for Lifelong Vision Health

As parents, it's our job to instill habits that will shape our children’s health for the better for years to come. Just as we guide them towards making nutritious food choices and staying active, teaching our children habits that promote proper vision health is equally important. Our role as primary influencers in their lives means that the lifestyle choices we model profoundly impact their behaviors and habits. Therefore, it's crucial to start framing our routines to prioritize eye health alongside overall well-being.

Some activities are simple, like spending more time together in nature. Not only does this help reduce stress and refresh the mind, but research also suggests that getting about 60 minutes of indirect sun exposure each day can help prevent the development of nearsightedness. This is one example of many ways to teach our children good eye care habits as they grow and develop. Below, we take a look at five more lifelong vision health habits our children must learn.

Set screen time limits

Over 50% of parents are unaware of the significant impact that screen time can have on their children's vision. This impact ranges from eye strain to dry eyes. Hence, reducing screen time is a proactive approach to caring for eye health, especially during an era where all generations are so device-dependent. Start by having an open discussion with your child about why screen time should be limited. Here, you can answer any questions and agree on a reasonable time limit so that your children feel responsible and included in the decision-making process. Afterward, it's important to encourage other fun, screen-free activities that you can do as a family, such as board gaming or arts and crafts, as alternatives.

Practice the 20/20/20 rule

It’s impossible and impractical to avoid screens altogether, especially since we live in the digital age. However, besides limiting screen use, teaching our children healthy screen habits can also mitigate the potential harm of too much screen time. The 20/20/20 rule, in particular, is a simple yet effective strategy to alleviate eye strain. Encourage your child to take breaks every 20 minutes by looking at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Additionally, educate them on holding screens at an appropriate distance to reduce eye strain. Stopping screen use before bed can also promote healthier sleep patterns, as the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt sleep cycles.

Wash hands properly

Children learn about the world using their five senses, with touch being one of the most prominently used. Hence, proper hand hygiene is essential for preventing the spread of germs and eye diseases like conjunctivitis, especially as children tend to frequently touch their eyes and noses. Parents can lead by example and demonstrate proper handwashing techniques. To make it fun and easy to remember, encourage your kids to sing "Happy Birthday" twice while washing their hands to ensure they clean them thoroughly for an adequate length of time.

Get eyes evaluated regularly

While even adults should undergo annual eye exams, children whose eyes are rapidly developing may require evaluations twice a year. If vision issues are identified, timely intervention is crucial. Children with refractive errors may be prescribed eyewear for their vision, and it's the parent's job to help them develop good habits around eyewear use. To help with this, make sure to select eyeglasses from brands that offer a dedicated kids' section, ensuring proper fit and comfort. A top-quality brand such as Ray-Ban not only offers options for both adults and children but also allows customers to maximize lens options like original style or optimum vision performance to encourage comfort and consistency when wearing glasses.

Follow appropriate vision treatment regimens

In the case of specific vision issues, parents need to ensure their children are provided with the necessary tools for treatment. These can include standard corrective lenses or specialized lens options such as Bangerter filters for amblyopia. Consistent use of these eyewear is crucial for effective treatment. Children can be notoriously stubborn when donning eyewear, so parents play an essential role in managing treatment plans and highlighting the long-term benefits of improved vision and eye health. This includes regular checkups for their eye concerns, as well as consistent use of corrective tools.

With these tips, we empower our children to prioritize their eye health and well-being throughout their lives. As parents, our guidance and support pave the way for a future of clear vision and optimal eye health for our children.

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Rosetta J

Rosetta James is a part-time writer and full-time mom to two teenagers. Parenting is never an easy task, which is why Rosetta aims to share her tips and tricks with every mother in the community.

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