A Guide on Child Vision Care

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Some people believe that heredity determines your child vision health. i.e. If both parents are myopic, their children are likely to have nearsightedness too.

Going by this logic, if the parents are intelligent and wise, their children are likely to be intelligent and wise too.

Conversely, would you say that children of a beggar or thief do not stand much of chance to be other than outcasts like their parents? Fortunately, it does not always work out this way.

Psychologists believe that a child's behaviours could be shaped through good role modeling and conditioning.

We use to hold our child's hands when our child takes their first step. However, not many help our children to learn how to use their eyes properly, how to see properly, and how to relax their eyes and protect their vision.

Today's education system requires our children to give close attention, read many books, add or subtract numbers or operate a computer for hours.

Therefore, as parent, it's important to learn guide our children to attain good child vision health at various stage of their development.

Stage 1: From Birth To Three Months

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At this stage, a child could only focus its vision up to a few inches from its face. The child is unable to see objects that are more than 6 inches away clearly.

In the first week, the child would also instinctly avoid any object approaching its face. In the second week, the child will follow sounds and lights, and it will try to turn its eyes towards them.

We should try to stimulate the child vision and encourage it to use both its eyes. If the child sleeps in a cradle, change the position of the child's position frequently, so that light from various directions can enter and stimulates its eyes.

When the child is about five to six weeks old, hang a toy on its cradle, about a foot from its eyes. This would enable the child to watch and follow a moving targets.

To let your child learn to control its eye-movements, provide your child with more bright areas and objects to watch.

Place your child on its stomach for five to ten muntes a day, so as to encourage your child to move its head.

Stage 2: Three to Four Months

At this stage, the child slowly develops its ability to judge the distance of various objects. i.e. to see which object is closer than the other.

The child also tries to reach for nearby objects with its arms and legs. Through these movement, the child develops the eye-hand coordination.

At this time, we should still place toys or other objects within seven inches, so that the child can focus their vision.

Continue to place your child on its stomach for short period of time, so as to develop your child's ability to move its head.

Stage 3: Four To Eight Months

By the Fourth month, the child is able to turn from one side to the other, and has better eye-hand coordination skills.

Make sure the child can look out of the cradle on both side and has interesting things to look at.

By the sixth month, the child should be able to coordinate its eyes to focus on an object.

To develop its visual tracking skills, try doing these:

  • Put a ball under a blanket and ask the child to locate it,
  • Roll a ball back and forth to the child,
  • Make the child sit, so that the ball will roll between its legs,
  • Give the child stuffed animals or toys with details, as the child is learning to look at finer points of larger objects.

Stage 4: Eight to Fourteen Months

You would now realise that the child can use its eyes to judge distance and throw objects with precision.

Give the child simple toys (e.g. those that can be taken apart and then assembled back) and objects which rolls (e.g. balls) to enhance the child vision.

Stage 5: Two year and Above

When the child is about two to three year old, start to guide him on good child vision habits. Prevent the child from engaging too much near point activities continuously, insist that the child does all reading, writing or drawing with good sitting posture, and maintain proper reading distance between the eyes and the book.

It's not going to be easy, as good visual habits do not formed overnight.

As the child grows older, continue to ensure that the child has a balanced activities. The child should not be doing near-point works (e.g. reading, watching TV, playing stuff toys) all the time, neither should the child be outdoors running or jumping most of the time.

The child should also be taufht the ways of cleaning and resting the eye. Eye exercises, eye devices or pinhole glasses can help maintain good child vision health.

Early Symptons of Child Vision Defects

Be aware if your child always:

  • trips or falls over objects or bumps into them,
  • has difficulty concentrating on reading, or drawing,
  • thrusts its head forward to look at distant objects,
  • shuts its eye partially when watching TV,
  • tilts its head, or hold the book too close to its eye

An early detection and prompt treatment may bring an end to any child vision problems.

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