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Eye Care for Your Child

19/05/2013

 

“As parents, you may be able to help delay the onset and progression of myopia (shortsightedness) in your children. Get your children to take regular vision breaks and limit the duration of continuous near work they do. Encourage them to have good eye care habits all the time at home, at school or at any place! Find out more on eye care tips.”

 

The following are good eye care tips for your child.

 

a.    Reduce time spent in near work

- Reduce time spent on playing games in hand-held electronic devices, or hand phone games and other computer-related activities such as blogging and internet chats.

- Encourage your child to take a break after 30-40 minutes of near work such as reading or writing. Your child should look at distant objects for 3 to 5 minutes. They could look out of the window into the distance.

 

b.    Increase time spent on outdoor activities every day

- Increase time spent on outdoor activities like ball games, walks in the park or a family picnic at the beach, etc as there is emerging evidence that outdoor activities may delay the onset or progression of myopia in your child.

- Outdoor activities should not include reading or playing hand-held games outdoors. Instead, encourage your child to engage in fun activities that involve body movements to increase physical fitness.

 

c.    Encourage other healthy eye care habits

- Ensure there is adequate lighting in the room.

- When reading, hold the book about 30 cm away from the eyes.

- Make sure when using the computer, the monitor screen is about 50 cm away from the eyes.

- Sit at a distance away from the TV that is appropriate to its size. The bigger the TV, the further away your child should sit.

 

d.    Take your child for eye check-ups yearly

 

 e.    Ensure a healthy lifestyle

- Eat a balanced diet.

- Have at least eight hours of sleep each night to rest the eyes.

- Instead of just playing computer games, participate in outdoor games as well.

 

Wearing spectacles

These are some useful tips your child could follow on wearing spectacles.

- Use both hands to put on or remove your spectacles.

- Do not place your spectacles downwards on the table or other surfaces as this would scratch the lenses.

- Wash your spectacles at least once a day or whenever they are dirty, using soap and water and then wipe them clean with a soft cloth.

- If you are not using your spectacles, keep them in the spectacle case. Do not place your spectacles in your pockets where it may fall out or become bent out of shape.

- If you cannot see clearly even with your spectacles, or if you have any pain in the eyes, headaches, dizziness or vomiting, your spectacles may not be right for you and need to be changed as soon as possible.

 

Wearing contact lenses

Get your child to practise these tips when wearing contact lenses.

- Make sure you learn how to handle your contact lenses correctly from your optician or optometrist.

- Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.

- Clean your contact lenses daily with the method taught to you.

- Keep your fingernails short to avoid scratching your contact lenses.

- Do not wear contact lenses if there is discomfort or redness in your eyes.

- Use lubricating eye-drops whenever you feel your eyes are dry.

- Always keep a spare pair of spectacles with you in case you are unable to wear your contact lenses.

 

Always practise good eye care habits to protect your eyesight. Remember to take regular vision breaks and limit the duration of continuous near work that you do. In this way, you would be taking active steps to fight myopia and prevent it from worsening.

 

Article Source: HOP Portal, Health Promotion Board

 

Article url : http://www.hpb.gov.sg/HOPPortal/health-article/524

 

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