How Effective Vision Care Can Protect Your Child’s Eyesight

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Effective vision care to protect your child’s eyesight should begin in the womb. It is common practice for women to take a 400mg supplement of folic acid daily during pregnancy to help avoid the risk of spina bifida in their infant.

A diet rich in essential fatty acids derived from oily fish should also be seen as a necessity during pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acid, together with the derivatives EPA and DHA, are crucial for the development of an infant’s brain during the last three months of pregnancy.

They are essential as well for the correct development of a growing child’s eyesight. Toddlers and young children need energy-rich foods, and oily fish provides the essential fats to feed a growing brain and ensure healthy eyes.

At birth your child’s eyes are not fully developed. Visual stimulation is needed throughout the early years, but is especially important during the first few months. It is during this period that the baby’s near vision and the six muscles around the eye develop.

What can you do at this crucial period to promote effective vision care and help develop your child’s eyesight?

* Hang a mobile above your baby’s crib. This will stimulate your baby’s eye muscles to focus and refocus, and help in the development of visual co-ordination.

* Place toys about a foot away from your baby’s eyes. Babies are born long-sighted, and this will encourage focusing on fine detail.

* Encourage your baby to actively grip and look at toys in order to develop near vision.

* Encourage your baby to crawl as crawling is important for eye-hand co-ordination.

If you notice that your baby’s visual or eye-hand co-ordination is developmentally delayed, then an early eye examination might be advisable. Several special tests can be carried out at a very early age before your child has improved communication skills. This is especially important if there is a history of long or short-sightedness, astigmatism or squint in your family in which case regular eye check-ups should be established.

As your baby grows into an active toddler and young child, continue to give your child a visually-rich and stimulating environment. Crayons, finger paints, puzzles, building blocks and modeling clay all help to develop motor skills and improve your child’s eyesight.

Protecting your child’s eyes is of paramount importance. Avoid toys with sharp edges, provide your child with sunglasses which have UV-coated lenses, encourage the wearing of appropriate eye protection for sport and computer use and make sure that your child has regular eye examinations.

If your child is prescribed glasses at a young age, advances in design technology mean that they can now be worn in comfort. Spring hinges and adjustable nose pads make for strength and comfort, and he will soon forget they are being worn.

For older children, practical considerations often take second place to questions of fashion and style. There is a wide range of “smart” frames now available made from light metals like titanium which are both durable and look good. Anti-scratch coatings on plastic lenses make for increased durability.

Of course, what parents dread most are eye injuries. Here are some first aid tips which can help protect your child’s eyesight from permanent damage:

* Foreign objects in the eye can often be washed out by inducing tears to flow. This can be achieved by lifting the upper eyelid outward and gently pulling it down over the lower lashes.

* For chemical splashes, flush the eye for 20 minutes or so with cool water until medical help arrives.

* If your child sustains a black eye, treat with cold compresses for about 15 minutes every hour. An eye doctor should check for possible internal damage.

* Do not attempt to treat a cut or penetrating eye injury. Instead, shield the eye with a gauze pad (or the cut-out bottom of a polystyrene cup will do if a bandage isn’t to hand). Go immediately to your doctor or a nearby hospital.

It is important to remember that effective vision care to protect your child’s eyesight means being aware of potential hazards. Many children are very keen to choose the right equipment or accessories for their sport, but the right visual protection can be just as essential. Squash, for instance, requires goggles, and swimmers wear prescription glazed goggles to protect their eyes.

It’s said, “Prevention is better than cure”. But with such vulnerable organs of the body as the eyes, no cure is necessarily available following an eye injury, and your child could suffer permanent damage or even blindness

Article Source: http://www.HealthArticleBank.com

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