We all want our children to grow up healthy and happy but many times healthy eyes and good vision are taken for granted unless a problem develops. There are several proactive things that you can do to make sure that your baby’s eyesight develops well and his eyes are protected from disease and injury.
Provide healthy food
This should start during pregnancy to make sure that your baby’s eyes develop correctly and should continue after your child is born and as he or she grows. Foods rich in vitamins A, B, C and E as well as zinc and omega 3 fatty acids are great for eye health and have been proven to prevent a number of diseases and promote good vision and eye health. If you eat a healthy diet, you are leading by example and keeping your eyes healthy, too!
Helping Baby Develop Good Eyesight
There are a number of things that you can do to help your baby’s eyesight develop properly. These include placing toys within 8-12 inches so that they may learn to focus, talking to him as you move so that he follows you with his eyes and hanging a mobile over his crib so that he has something both the focus on and follow. As your baby grows, encourage him to crawl because this develops good hand-eye coordination.
Helping Children Develop Good Eyesight
As your child grows, you should continue to provide tasks that help develop good vision. For toddlers and pre-schoolers, toys such as building blocks, finger paint, modeling clay, ring games and puzzles all help to improve vision, eye health and coordination by providing visually stimulating tasks that work the eyes, promotes focus, develop hand-eye coordination and help eye muscles develop correctly.
When to See the Optometrist
Your baby should have his first visit to the optometrist at around six months of age. Go earlier if you notice problems such as excessive tearing, puffiness or prolonged irritation because there may be a blocked tear duct. Also, if you notice that your baby doesn’t follow objects with his eyes or has difficulty with age-appropriate hand-eye coordination tasks you should schedule an appointment.
Tips for Protecting Your Child’s Vision and Eye Health
In order to keep your child’s eyes healthy, take such precautionary measures as making sure that all toys that you buy for baby have soft corners with no sharp edges and provide age-appropriate toys that encourage healthy eye development for babies and children. Also, always encourage your children to wear hats and sunglasses when they are in the sun and protective gear when they are playing sports. Finally, make sure that you schedule regular appointments with the optometrist.
As a parent, you want your child to develop into a healthy, strong adult and you do everything in your power to make that happen but frequently parents just assume that eyes develop on their own.
There’s a plethora of research regarding healthy eye development for babies and children that proves that there are proactive things that you as a parent can do to improve your child’s chances of having healthy eyes for a lifetime. Don’t wait for a problem to arise; by starting during pregnancy, you can improve the chances that your children will grow up with healthy eyes and good vision.