The summer is winding down, which means back-to-school shopping, orientation and checkups are likely on the horizon. Along with these basics, don’t forget to ensure your child’s vision care is up to date. After all, you can’t afford to take any chances when it comes to his or her eye health and wellbeing.
Following are 3 ways to set your child up for success this school year:
- Schedule an eye exam.
It goes without saying that vision problems could lead to underperforming at school. After all, schoolwork requires a lot of reading and impaired vision or undiagnosed issues could derail your child’s progress. While it’s true that many schools conduct eye tests during the school year, this isn’t a guarantee. Plus, time is of the essence when academics are on the line. Scheduling an eye exam before school starts is the best way to detect and treat problems early before they develop further
- Teach and reinforce healthy habits
Schools are notorious for harboring bacteria and viruses. Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is a common condition that can be prevented with common sense. Teach your kids to wash hands often and avoid touching their eyes.
Along with hygiene, a balanced diet is another way to stay healthy. While kids can be picky, you can make an effort to feed them more fresh fruits, veggies and clean proteins. Green leafy veggies such as spinach, kale and broccoli are chock full of vitamins that promote healthy vision. Fish, nuts and whole grains are also essential for eye health. Try these recipes to sneak some veggies into their favorite foods.
Third, monitor and limit your child’s screen time. With kids engaging devices now more than ever, it’s important that they practice good habits to protect vision. Discourage your child from spending long hours staring at the TV, computer, mobile phone or other electronic screens. They should maintain a proper distance between the screen and their eyes to prevent eye strain. You also may be able to reduce the negative impact of blue light by investing in screen filters for devices.
Last, stress the importance of a consistent bedtime. Sleep is the time for rest and rejuvenation, and that includes the eyes. Most school-age children need about 10 hours of sleep to perform at their best.
- Get protective eyewear
Do you have an athlete in the house? Sports benefit kids in a variety of ways, but they also come with a risk for injury. That said, it’s critical to educate your kids about proper eye protection and safety. Protective goggles can spare your child from a potentially vision-threatening injury. According to Prevent Blindness America, approximately 40,000 sports-related eye injuries each year in the United States are severe enough to require emergency room care — that’s one every 13 minutes!
Remember, we’re here to help you know how to protect your child’s eyes while helping him or her to look and feel their best. Your Midwest Eye Consultants doctor can address any concerns you might have and monitor any changes in vision along the way as well as recommend proper lenses and eyewear.
Interested in an annual exam for your child? Make an appointment here.