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5 Important Eye Care Tips For Kids

Your child’s ability to see the world relies on healthy eyes. By teaching them how to care for their eyes, you help protect them from injury and ensure their eyes and vision remain healthy in the long run. Here are our 5 top eye care tips for kids. 

Good Eye Care Habits for Children

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Drink Plenty of Water

A nutritious diet and healthy eyes go hand in hand. Encourage your child to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and prioritize foods rich in vitamin A found in green leafy and yellow vegetables. Eggs are also rich in important nutrients, containing vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, all vital for eye health. 

Another thing to look out for is hydration. Proper hydration plays a key role in maintaining healthy eyes and a healthy body, so make sure your child drinks plenty of water (the appropriate amount will vary according to your child’s age, level of physical activity and weather conditions). 

2. Wear Eye Protection

Physical activity is enjoyable and healthy, but make sure your child is wearing the right protective eyewear, like safety goggles, anytime they participate in sports or activities that could cause an eye injury (i.e. playing ball, hockey, carpentry). Wearing a helmet for sports like riding a bicycle protects against concussions, which can result in lingering vision problems, and are usually preventable. 

Furthermore, provide your child with good UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s UV radiation. Staring directly at the sun, or the light rays reflecting off water and snow, can potentially cause retinal burns, in addition to long term damage.

3. Give The Eyes a Rest

Staring at the school board and school books all day, followed by playing video games or watching TV in the evening can cause eye strain. Be sure your child gets sufficient sleep to allow their eyes to rest. Replace evening activities with those that don’t require intense eye focusing: going to the park, playing outdoors with friends, or simply lying down with their eyes closed while listening to music or an audiobook. 

4. Reduce Time Spent on Digital Devices

Spending time on digital devices and staring at screens is an integral part of our lives. Playing video games, watching videos on their smartphones and playing computer games, all require the eyes to fixate for extended periods of time, which can lead to digital eye strain, headaches and even dry eyes.

Try to reduce the amount of time your child spends on the screen by getting your child to participate in other activities, such as sports. And when using digital devices or screens for long periods of time, get them into the habit of taking frequent breaks and give their eyes a rest by looking into the distance every few minutes.

5. Get Their Eyes Checked Regularly

School-aged children’s vision can change often, and unexpectedly, until the late teenage years. Left uncorrected, poor eyesight can interfere with learning, and cause behavioral and attention issues. 

Getting a routine eye exam is important as it can uncover vision problems, detect eye conditions early on, and significantly increase the odds of preserving long-term eye health. For those who wear glasses or contacts, it’s important to check for any changes and update the prescription as needed. 

Ensure  your child’s eyes are being cared for properly by scheduling an eye exam with Family Eyecare Center of Optometry in Westchester, Los Angeles today. Your child’s eye doctor can further educate them on eye safety and answer any questions you or your child may have. 

 

Q&A

My kid frequently rubs their eyes. Is that bad?

Kids often rub their eyes, especially if they have allergies, irritated eyes, or they feel like something is stuck in their peepers. Rubbing can scratch the cornea, and transfer bacteria from the child’s hands to their eyes, causing an eye infection. 

Instead of rubbing, have them wash their eyes with cool water to flush out any foreign body or irritant, and ease inflammation. If the problem persists, contact your child’s optometrist.

Other than reducing screen time, is there anything else I can do to maintain eye health & safety? 

When you’re at home, keep an eye on your children’s playtime and make sure that none of their toys — or the toys at their friends’ homes — are sharp. Sharp plastic swords and toys with jagged edges can cause serious eye injuries. 

8 Eye Makeup Safety Tips

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While we want to look and feel our best, applying eye makeup can sometimes aggravate our sensitive eyes.

I’m talking eye irritation, eye infections, and all that not-so-fun stuff. Here are a few suggestions for keeping those eyes as beautiful as possible when using makeup.

Eye Makeup Safety—8 Tips To Remember

1) Start on a clean slate. Wash your face thoroughly before applying makeup. Make sure your hands are clean too. Those germs and bacteria from your hands can get into your eyes

2) Do not apply makeup while in a moving vehicle. Multi-taskers, I’m talking to you. We know it takes only a few seconds to put on eyeliner when you are in the passenger seat or at a stop light—but please resist! A little bump in the road can mean a scratched cornea or poking your eye with a makeup applicator. One word: ouch!

3) Do not share eye makeup. It may seem harmless, but using someone else’s eyeliner, eye shadow, or mascara can quickly spread infection-causing bacteria and viruses, like pink eye. Even if a friend doesn’t appear to have any eye problems, germs can affect people differently. Also, you know the sampling counters at makeup stores? Lots of people use them, which means lots of germs. Make sure to use new samples when trying on makeup, or just avoid them all together.

4) Makeup does expire. Mascara should be thrown away after about three months. Constantly exposing the applicator to air and then putting it back in the container breeds bacteria. Don’t try to extend the life of dried out mascara by adding water or saliva.

**Helpful tip**–Write the date you open your new mascara on the tube so you’ll know when it is time for a new one.

5) Have dry eye?Be careful about using glittery, metallic, or otherwise flaky eye shadows. The eye shadow can affect your tear film, which consists of three layers (oily layer, watery layer, and mucous layer) that protect your eye.

6) Avoid using eyeliner on the upper or lower rim of your eyelid. Eyeliner can clog the oil glands of your lid AND it usually does not stay on as long because of frequent blinking.

7) Remove your makeup at night.After a long day, you are probably looking forward to the moment when you crawl into bed to catch some zzz’s. Before the lights go out, don’t forget to gently remove any eye makeup (and be careful not to get it in your eyes!). Small specks of leftover product can cause irritation to your eyes and lids overnight. Besides, going to bed with a clean face will help ensure you get your beauty sleep!

8) If you’ve had an eye infection, discard the eye makeup you were using when it occurred. Using the same makeup can cause the infection to reoccur, so buy new products just to be safe. If you are having eye irritation, take a break from makeup until the irritation subsides.

Exercising a little extra caution when using eye makeup can go a long way in preventing eye problems. If you do have long lasting irritation or recurring eye infections, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Ashcraft for an expert opinion on what to do next.Sources:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/news/eye-makeup-safety-tips , https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-makeup

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductsIngredients/Products/ucm137241.htm

Video–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2k44J-ymHY

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We Are Open! COVID-19 ReOpening—Expectations
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety and well-being of our patients, staff and doctors is our first priority. Read Safety Protocols. Please read our safety protocols here.