Fighting Blindness is an Irish patient-led charity working to cure blindness, support people living with sight loss and empower patients.
And they are urging parents to take care of their children’s eye health from a young age, sharing advice on how best to protect their sight, with seven main tips on preventing issues with your child’s eyes.
- Spend time in the great outdoors. Research suggests that time spent playing outside contributes to a decrease in the risk of short-sightedness.
- Don’t leave them to their own devices. Teach your children to hold a smartphone or tablet at arm’s length from their eyes and encourage them to look away from the screen every few minutes.
- You are what you eat. It’s not just carrots that are good for children’s eyesight. Oranges, oily fish, peppers, eggs, dairy and nuts have some of the biggest health benefits for eyes. If your child has been diagnosed with a retinal disease, make sure to check with your doctor first as to the diet most appropriate for them.
- Sun’s up! It’s vital that children wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun, which are more vulnerable to sun damage due to their larger pupils and clearer lenses.
- Put them to the test. Ensure that your child has their first eye test from a qualified optician by the age of three years, and every year after that until they are 16 years old.
- Safety first. Physical activity and sport are important for children, but make sure they use safety eye wear that is appropriate for their sport to protect against eye injury.
- Be on the lookout. If you notice an inward or outward turning in a child’s eyes, delays in tracking moving objects, squinting or holding material close to their face, speak to your GP or optician. Many conditions can be treated more effectively once picked up early.
The charity’s forthcoming Public Engagement Day is taking place as part of Retina 2019 during Science Week Ireland on Saturday November 16
The event takes place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8 and members of the public can register their attendance at www.retina.ie