Taking care of the little things: Top tips for children's eye health

We often say it’d be fascinating to see the world through a child’s eyes. Their eyes are so precious and something this special needs careful looking after as they develop and grow.

Caring for a child’s eyes is as important as looking after the rest of their body, and here are five simple steps you can take to keep them as healthy as possible.

Get kids outdoors
Regularly playing and exercising outdoors is good for healthy eyes – and it’s great fun too!

Eat & drink healthily
Give kids a balanced diet and ensure they drink plenty of water to keep their eyes hydrated. Carrots really can help kids see in the dark as they’re rich in vitamin A. But eat other fruit and veg too!

Wear sunglasses
Never let children look directly at the sun. Always wear sunglasses with the CE quality mark and a hat with a peak to shade their eyes from the sun.

Avoid straining eyes
If kids are reading in bed, ensure they have a suitable lamp so they’re not straining their eyes in dim light.

Give eyes a break
Staring at a screen for long periods can make eyes feel dry and tired. Get kids to have regular breaks from playing on-screen games.

Youngsters might not realise they have a problem with their sight, but if you notice any of these signs, it’s a good idea to get their eyes tested straightaway.

• Frequent eye rubbing or excessive blinking
• Regular headaches or tired eyes
• Sitting close to the TV or holding a book close to their face
• Finding it hard to concentrate
• One eye drifts inwards or outwards
• Closing one eye or screwing up their eyes to read or watch TV
• Tilting their head to see better
• A ‘white reflex’ in photographs – similar to red-eye, but white
• Watery eyes

Even if you’ve not noticed any problems with your child’s eyes, it’s so important to get them checked every couple of years. We recommend a first test around age 3 or 4, and then every twelve months until the age of eighteen. Book an appointment with us and make a sight test part of your family’s regular healthcare.