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Your baby’s development and overall health is largely dependent on his vision from birth.

If your child is not meeting expected milestones in their physical, cognitive, or social development, or shows indifference to what should be an enjoyable learning experience, you may wonder why and try hard to figure out what’s wrong.

The importance of eye care awareness, especially among children, is critical to ensuring they have good vision and a good quality of life. It is very important to detect vision problems in the earliest stages and treat them immediately. It is very important that parents monitor the symptoms of vision loss in children.

Here are some warning signs that your child may have vision problems:

1. Tendency to squint more often than usual, or when squinting is unnecessary

2. Reading a book too close to the face or eyes

3. Watch TV from a very close distance

4. Low concentration of attention / falling behind in class compared to other children

5. They tilt their head to see objects or read better

6. Covering one eye

7. Sensitivity to light

8. Frequent or repeated rubbing of the eyes

9. Excessive blinking

10. Inability to coordinate eye, hand, and body movements to function properly

11. Can’t catch a ball while playing sports

12. Avoid close-up tasks such as reading, sports, and other activities that require close vision

13. Showing disinterest in interesting activities in class, such as coloring

Steps and corrective measures:

Premature babies should have an eye exam to rule out ROP (retinopathy of prematurity)..

One of the most important preventative steps parents can take is to start scheduling routine eye exams for their child at an early age. If a baby is born prematurely, he or she should be screened for ROP within the first 30 days after birth. ROP is a vision-threatening disease of the retina that can lead to permanent blindness if left untreated.

If the child is born at a normal gestational age, the first eye examination should be at the age of three

If the child was born at a normal gestation period, then the first examination should be done at the age of 3 or before going to kindergarten. Regular annual eye examinations should become a practice to monitor children’s eye health. Make sure the child gets a xxx to examine the retina and check for accurate refractive error. Ideally, a visit to a pediatric ophthalmologist should be preferred.

A well-balanced diet

Maintain a wholesome, well-balanced diet to aid in eye growth. Include foods high in iron and green leafy vegetables to maintain clear and healthy vision.

Pay attention to the warning signs

It is very important for parents to know and identify the warning signs that their child is experiencing vision problems. See an ophthalmologist immediately if your child complains of vision problems.

Avoid getting injured by firecrackers and arrows during festivals

Every year, thousands of eyes fall prey to the reckless handling of firecrackers and gunshots during the Dussehra and Diwali festivals. While enjoying, don’t forget to take care of your eyes. Be careful, considerate and follow eye safety tips.

Limit your use of digital screens

In today’s digital era, the use of screens has increased. There should be no screen time for children under the age of two. Screen use should be gradually limited and monitored by parents. Although there is no risk of long-term eye damage, excessive screen time can lead to a number of problems, including dry eyes, headaches and eye strain.

Follow the correct posture on the screen (use the 20:20 rule)

Make sure your eyes are level with the top of the display and that the screen is 20 to 30 inches away from your face.
The 20.20 rule suggests looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes spent on the device. This can reduce eye strain caused by prolonged use of digital screens.

Maintaining a good sleep pattern

It is very important that your eyes get a good night’s rest as this helps them recover from eye strain and blurred vision caused by reading, using your phone to scroll or using a computer.

Lack of sleep can cause blood vessels in the eyes to burst, giving them a red, bloodshot appearance and discomfort.

To maintain eye health, children need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. An unchanged bedtime routine can significantly improve the general state of health, including the child’s vision.

The author is the CEO of ICARE Eye Hospital, Noida, one of the oldest and largest NABH accredited Eye Hospitals in Delhi-NCR, established in 1993. Opinions are personal.

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