If your child is currently going through vision therapy, you might be concerned about how they treat their eyes at school. This is a justified concern--experts suggest that approximately 80% of what a child learns every day is done through their eyes. That's why it is so important for your child to take good care of their eyes while at school each day.
Fortunately, it's not that difficult for your child to help keep their eyes in top shape, even while learning in a visually-rich school setting. All you need to do is click this link and help them develop a few simple habits at home and at school.
Eye Health Habits
By helping your child develop a few important habits, you can trust that they will take care of their eyes consistently. While there are a lot of habits that can contribute to eye health, the two most important involve eating a healthy diet and taking steps to prevent eye strain.
The good news with establishing dietary habits is that you--the parent--get to control what your child gets to choose for their food. The bad news is that they won't necessarily eat what you want them to eat! Regardless, here are some of the things you'll need to integrate into your child's diet:
- Vitamin A--Vitamin A, particularly beta carotene, is critical for long-term eye health. Unfortunately, beta carotene should be gained primarily through natural sources--brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Offer your child these fruits and vegetables at most meals and snacks.
- Fish Oil--Fatty types of fish are often high in DHA. Low levels of DHA have been linked to dry eyes. If your child is also wearing corrective therapeutic lenses, dry eyes are often a problem. Try serving fish once or twice a week.
- Vitamin Supplements--A child's diet is often at the mercy of their fickle tastes. While natural sources are almost always preferred, a daily multivitamin can help ensure that your child has a good baseline of nutrient levels.
For eye strain prevention, you'll have to build habits around the house that will transfer to the school environment. That means you'll have to practice these--a lot! However, the time investment is well worth the effort.
First, show your child how to enlarge text on a computer. They'll likely spend a great deal of time with computers throughout their day, and default text sizes are often small. Ask your child what types of devices they use, and ask them to enlarge the text every time they're on a computer or device at home. Hopefully, it will become second nature for your child to do this at every computer session.
Next, encourage your child to take periodic breaks. Fortunately, most school teachers build breaks into their lessons. If your child has a teacher that doesn't, communicate with the instructor and teach your child how to advocate for a break on their own. Ideally, they should take one every twenty minutes or so. Usually, a trip to the bathroom or water fountain is sufficient.
Finally, you'll need to teach your child about proper lighting. Quite a few elementary teachers like to allow their children to read to themselves for an extended period of time each day. To set the mood for a calm session, they'll typically dim the lights in the room. Help your child understand what a proper reading light level is, and encourage them to ask for more light if they're required to read in dim lighting each day.
Your child's eyes are a critical asset in both their schooling and in their everyday life. By fostering good habits with your child, you can ensure that your child's vision therapy doesn't cause your child to see life through tired, sore eyes.