by April 9, 2015 updated on
TCT brings to you 6 useful tips to keep in mind while taking care of your child’s eye vision
As a parent, I am constantly worried about my baby’s eyesight. He is all of 11 months AND loves watching telly. ‘Love’ is a small word. He is crazy about it. Amused by the colors and the jingles, and the songs and the silly shows broadcasted on half-hourly basis, there are times when he looks at me out of sheer excitement. As if asking me to join him in the madness. Imagine, mumma and Brat H watching that gibberish stuff all day long!! I don’t know what he really likes, though I quite fail to understand a lot of what’s going on in there.
I have been so worried about his eyesight. I mean the rate at which his sensitive sight is getting exposed to a myriad of ultra-superficial colors and rays, now that scares me to bits. Moreover, I realized that it isn’t doing much good to his creativity. So, no more of that silly T.V from now on! We have now been enjoying our evening walks, the summer breeze and stopping by to say hello to other mommies and babies. Afterall, it is so much better for Brat H. Looking at pretty green grass early mornings and late evenings improves the vision. It could be a myth but I like to believe in it and so I practice it too.
Besides, there are actually plenty of things that you can do to keep your toddler’s eyes healthy. Eyes play a central role in each and every step of growing up and simple things like diet, lighting and early check-up can set things right from the start. To help parents get the most accurate information on the subject, Dr. Anand Shroff from Shroff Eye Hospital, Mumbai, outlined the following points for us to take due note of:
1. Diet: Include nutritious foods rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins, particularly vitamin A which is associated with eye health. Diet should include fresh fruits such as papaya and mango, and vegetables such as carrots, green leafy vegetables, drumstick and beetroot.
2. Allergies: If your child is complaining of eye irritation then it might be because of allergy from some common irritant or seasonal shift. Identify the irritant with the help of your pediatrician. It is also important to discourage your child from rubbing his eyes very hard as this can cause keratoconus, a corneal abnormality.
3. Outdoor activities: Give your child protective eye wear made of polycarbonate while playing sports such as ball games and water tight swimming goggles while swimming. Chlorinated water can sometimes result in infections and allergies.
4. Indoor activities: Sitting in front of TV, and using computers and video games has become a common norm. For TV, do ensure that the room is well-lit and is at least 4 meters or more away. While using computers, position the screen at eye level or slightly lower and keep it at a distance of 18-28 inches. Do not let your child watch TV or computer for more than 40 minutes, at a stretch. Taking breaks in between is recommended.
6. Avoid exposure to bright sunlight: Sunlight as a source of vitamin D is considered healthy but in moderation. Too bright sunlight is harmful for your child’s delicate eyes. For proper protection give your child brimmed hats and UV glasses.
Besides these measures, you should also get your child’s vision checked up on routine basis. According to Dr. Shroff, “Around 2-to-4% of India’s children develop a squint (cross-eyed) and/or amblyopia (lazy eye). Early detection and treatment of these disorders during childhood is essential for preventing permanent vision loss”.
So, when can your child get his first eye examination? Contrary to popular belief you can get a detailed eye check-up done as soon as 6 months of age. Get it done again at the age of 2 years and then annually.