7 Eye Safety Tips
Photo by: Sharon Suh
1. Good Hygiene
Encouraging your kids to frequently wash their hands before touching their faces can protect their eyes from germs. If your child wears glasses, teach them how to clean their glasses by gently washing them with soap and warm water. Bonus: This clean habit also helps prevent colds and flu #wellness
2. Read in a Well-Lit Room
What parent doesn’t get excited watching their kids read? But studies have shown that reading in a dim room can cause fatigue and discomfort. Make sure there’s proper lighting wherever your kids read. Kids (and adults!) should also avoid using electronic devices before bed because the blue light emitted from screens can interfere with sleep.
3. Wear Sunnies
Children are more susceptible to damage from ultra-violet (UV) rays because a kid’s eye lens is still developing. This means harmful radiation can penetrate more deeply into the eye. All children, even infants, should wear UV-blocking lenses or sunglasses any time they are outdoors during daylight hours. The earlier they start wearing glasses, the more your kids will get used to the habit. Eye protection is just as important on gloomy days because most UV rays can pass through clouds.
4. Only Wear Your Own Prescription Glasses
If your child trades glasses with a friend with a different prescription, she might laugh at the warped image–it can be like looking at a funhouse mirror. While trying on someone else’s glasses won’t cause significant damage to the eyes, wearing the wrong prescription for extended periods has been shown to cause headaches. Trading glasses can also stretch out the frames as kids’ head sizes differ. Teach your child to always wear her own glasses.
5. Don’t Rub Your Eyes
When eyes are fatigued, it may feel natural to rub them, but it’s not a great habit. Rubbing eyes can cause infection, injury and thinning of the cornea over time. If you catch your child rubbing his eyes, suggest eye drops, taking a screen break or taking a nap.
6. Wear Protective Gear
Whether your child is on the swim team or in the chemistry club, remind her to wear protective gear to avoid eye injuries. Goggles, head gear, face masks, and other protection can mean the difference between winning a trophy or landing in the doctor’s office.
7. Give Your Eyes a Break
Staring at screens too often can result in eyestrain, fatigue and even sleep interruptions. Suggest the “20-20-20” rule: Every 20 minutes, your kid should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Bonus! Encourage your kids to take an extended break outside. Studies show that kids who spend more time outdoors have a lower chance of developing nearsightedness.
Time to follow our own 20-20-20 rule,