Hello Quarantine-Parents, It’s Time to Take Good Care of Your Child’s Eyes
Parents, kids today face a lot of challenges. Some of them didn’t even exist during your childhood. While technology has its boons, there’s also a dark side to it, and since children are incredibly tech-savvy, they experience both the good and evil sides of it.
It can also be said that children are more pressured to look good today since they want to be the popular girl or boy in class. The competition is strife, and if you think you’ve had it tough during your childhood, children have it tougher today.
With all of this already happening in their lives, the coronavirus pandemic put them through another significant challenge –staying at home and learning through virtual classes. While it is still easier for 16+ children to cope with this shift in the learning paradigm, younger children find it quite tricky.
You would think that this was enough trouble for your kid, right?
There is a projection that says that nearly 50% of the world population will be myopic by 2050.
The COVID-19 outbreak, earthquakes, floods and cyclones are not in your control, but your child’s eye health indeed is!
Nobody knows when your child will re-join his or her school in Siliguri, but you can utilize it to improve your child’s vision. Here are a few eye exercises that might help your child build sharp eyesight.
- The pencil exercise – For this, you have to make your child hold a pencil (or a pen) at arm’s length and ask him/her to focus on it. Make your child move the pencil farther away from his vision until the focus cannot be kept. The exercise must be repeated nine to ten times a day. This is one of the most common eye exercises that ophthalmologists recommend, and this exercise aims to improve binocular vision disorders.
title=”The pencil exercise”
- Eye rotation exercise – As the name suggests, the practice is all about rotating the eyes, which helps in improving weak eyesight. First, your child must rotate his eyes in the clockwise direction and then the same is to be repeated anti-clockwise. The exercise must be repeated four to five times.
- Does your child have dry eyes? Try the eye blinking exercise – Ask your child to flutter his eyelids by blinking twenty to thirty times rapidly. Then, the eyes must be closed for a while to let them rest. Repeating this exercise twice a day can improve dry eyes.
Yes, something as simple as blinking can take care of dry eyes problem because blinking stimulates the production of tears and the eyes get a chance to wash away all the dirt and debris that accumulated on the eye surface. So, blink away.
You can also do this exercise with your child.
- Swinging eye or tracking exercise – Does your child tend to skip words, lose their place when reading or switch the order of letters? If so, this is the perfect exercise. For this, you need a ball and a string. Tie the string around the ball and hang it so that it is even with your kid’s nose. Swing the ball and ask your kid to keep a close watch. Ask him to follow the movement of the ball with his eyes. It would be best if you swung the ball side to side, back and forth and around in a circle. Repeat this in different directions for at least ten times.
- The eye shift exercise – Your child must be able to shift his gaze between objects at different distances quickly. This will prepare your child when he is out on the street, and multiple things are happening at once. For mastering this shifting vision, the exercise that can help involves two things – a calendar and a pencil. Place a calendar on the wall. Next, make your kid stand ten feet away from the calender and hold the pencil vertically in front of his/her face. Ask your child to focus on the pencil first, then look at the numbers on the calendar and then back at the pencil. You can change the distance between the schedule and your child. Repeat this exercise at least ten times.
- Writing exercise using eyes – No, that’s not a mistake. The eye writing exercise helps strengthen the muscles of the eyes. Also, your child has a lot of fun doing this exercise. For this exercise, you need to choose an empty wall, preferably one that is not too bright. Ask your child to write something just by using his/her eyes. Make it a rule that your child cannot move his/her head. It’s only the eyes that do all the writing. Of course, the writing will be invisible, but moving the eyes in the shape of different letters will be a good exercise for the eye muscles.
Eye exercises are more important than ever, thanks to the online classes and children having to stare at the screens of smartphones and laptops continually.
Besides exercise, what else can you do to improve your child’s eyesight?
- Do not let your child stay up too late at night as straining to look at objects in the dark are not suitable for the eyes.
- Encourage your kid to read with proper lighting.
- Ask your child to take breaks and not stare too long at screens of digital devices (though this will be a difficult one and better implemented when your child returns to his/her English medium school in Siliguri)
After teaching your kids these simple eye exercises, you can also encourage them to practice yoga for eyes.
Do you have any suggestions for improving children’s eyesight? Please share.