Eye health in children

In today’s digital world, we are fine with children (even babies) watching our mobile devices frequently. It is an easier distraction to ensure they sit in one place for a longer duration sufficient enough for the caretaker to sometimes even do mundane things like visit the bathroom, get a cup of coffee/tea, prepare the next meal, take a phone call or anything.

This is impacting children in multiple ways. While parents restrict the amount of time the child spends in front of the television, the damage has started. Sharing from my experience thus far…

  1. Forget to blink their eyes while watching mobile devices.
  2. Get dry eyes and end up needing drops to keep them moist
  3. Rub their eyes often causing issues to their retina / cornea shape
  4. Find it difficult to switch focus between near and distant objects
  5. Sit at an angle and watch
  6. Never realize that they might be using one eye more than the other till it is time for period eye check up
  7. Keep their mobile devices close to their faces to ensure the volume is low (so as to not disturb their parents while they are on phone calls), leading them to have their eyes cross
  8. Get used to multi-tasking (like watching TV and doing their homework at the same time). They end up lacking focus and find it difficult to single-task activities and gain proficiency.

Tips to help improve vision in children

  1. Restrict usage of mobile devices. If needed, teach them to use it from a safe distance for a specific amount of time
  2. Restrict TV time and seating positions while watching TV. No lying down upside down and watching or lying down on one side and watching.
  3. Sitting directly in front of TV at a safe distance about 10 feet away helps.
  4. Teach children to do eye exercises when they are young. Focusing on objects that are far away like a hill / tree top / building and switching their gaze to their index finger is a good one to practice 2-3 minutes a day.
  5. Teach children to close their eyes and do the above one eye at a time and check if they say the clarity of vision seems to be different in both eyes.
  6. Cooling your eyes by splashing water on them helps! Do this while washing your face / having a bath (Keeping that cucumber slice on the closed eye lids helps cool eyes as well :))

Eye health is critical and teaching children to focus on it helps!

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