We all know how important it is to teach kids healthy habits at a young age. Oftentimes, we focus on making sure they eat a balanced diet, brush and floss their teeth and use sunscreen when outdoors. But, how often do we really focus in on teaching our kids healthy eye care habits? In the spirit of March being Save Your Vision Month, we encourage all parents to take some time to start helping their kids learn how to care for their eyes.
To get the conversation started, here are a few tips to discuss with your kids.
1. Everyone needs regular eye exams
Get into the habit of having your whole family receive eye exams on a regular basis, says CNIB, and your children will continue this routine into their adult life. Explain to your kids why they need to see an eye doctor, as vision screenings they may receive at school only examine sight and may not detect other problems.
2. Avoid touching the eyes
To keep dirt that could cause an infection from entering the eyes, encourage your children to wash their hands whenever they come inside and after they have had their hands in something dirty. Also stress the danger of touching or rubbing eyes before hands are clean, advises VisionMD.
3. Keep chemicals away from eyes
Young children may be unaware of the pain and irritation that soap, shampoo, cleaners and household chemicals can cause to their eyes. Tell your kids before they learn from experience, says VisionMD. If kids are helping with household chores, be sure they wear protective goggles or safety glasses.
4. Use eye protection
Teach your children to wear sunglasses whenever they head outdoors, no matter the time of year, recommends Accent Blog. When purchasing sunglasses, explain the importance of choosing shades with UVA and UVB protection.
Children also need eye protection when playing sports. If the sport does not require any specific type of glasses or goggles, use sunglasses with shatterproof lenses and strong frames, such as the ones we sell at Real Kids.
5. Avoid colored contact lenses
Tweens often want to use colored contact lenses, especially around Halloween, but it’s important to teach your kids about the potential dangers of these lenses, which include pain, swelling, corneal abrasions and infections that can lead to blindness, explains Eye Smart. All types of contact lenses should be fitted by and bought through an eye care professional. Also, talk about the importance of taking good care of contact lenses with your child.
What are you doing to discuss healthy eye care habits with your kids? Leave a comment below to share with us! For more tips on kids’ eye health, check out our Kids’ Eye Health & Safety board on Pinterest.