Your child’s sight is precious. Good vision helps them to learn, play and communicate with the world around them.
Yet, there are around one million children in the UK with undetected vision problems. Children’s eyes continue to develop until they reach the age of eight, so caring for a child’s eyes in the early years can help lay the foundations for good vision that lasts a lifetime.
There are lots of simple things that you can do to help keep kids’ eyes and vision healthy. Essential eye checks.
Having regular sight tests – annually for under eights and every two years thereafter (unless you’re advised otherwise by your optometrist) is a great place to start.
Sight tests will ensure any problems such as childhood conditions like squint and amblyopia (lazy eye) or myopia (short-sightedness) are picked up early. The sooner problems are identified the better the treatment outcome.
Remember sight tests are free on the NHS for all children under 16 years.
Eat a rainbow
Eating a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables helps ensure young eyes get the nutrients they need to grow healthily. Foods like tomatoes, melon, grapes and blueberries as well as fish, chicken, eggs and whole grains are packed with eye–friendly nutrients.
Tops tips for fussy eaters
Swap chips for sweet potato wedges
Use a cookie cutter to cut out fish shaped pieces of cod fillet or tuna steak
Bake some kale crisps – rub a little olive oil on clean dry kale leaves and bake in a moderate oven for 10 to 12 mins
Make rainbow fruit kebabs using raspberries, strawberries, orange segments, cubes of peeled mango, pineapple chunks, cubes of peeled kiwi, green and red grapes plus a couple of blueberries
Be safe in the sun
It’s also really important to protect your eyes from the sun. When you’re young the lens at the front of your eye is really clear and lets more of the damaging sunlight inside.
So here’s 10 ways you can stay safe in the sun.
Protect your eyes whenever the UV Index rises to three or more. For comfort you may also wish to wear eye protection on bright days when the UV Index is below three.
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