Why Spending Time Outside Can Help Your Child’s Eyesight

Spending Time Outside Can Help Your Child’s Eyesight

How much time does your child spend in front of a screen? Our modern world is filled with digital technology, resulting in a situation where kids are often spending hours a day playing game consoles, watching television, or using smartphones, computers, and tablets. These devices can be both educational and fun, but many parents don’t realize how much the screen time is impacting the health of their children.

There isn’t a lot of research out there about the effects of screens on eyesight, but experts in the industry are starting to notice that the rates of myopia (also known as short-sightedness) are increasing in children. This trend could be the result of too much screen time.

Alarming Rates of Myopia in Children

In some parts of the world, the majority of children are diagnosed with myopia by the age of 18. BBC.com recently reported that nearly 90% of 18-year-olds have short-sightedness in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and East Asia. These numbers are also rising in Europe and other areas around the world.

It seems that the rates are increasing because children are spending less time in direct sunlight. When students are studying a lot or spending the majority of the day behind a screen, they don’t have the chance to run around outside. Minimal exposure to sunlight can have an impact on overall health, and cause problems with vision.

In Asia, many of the kids are put into intensive educational programs, causing them to spend most of their time indoors. Even after they are done with their schoolwork, entertainment is also focused on the screen: playing games or watching movies.

Finding Balance in the Lifestyle

It isn’t realistic for a child to stop using screens. But, parents need to look for ways to improve the balance in their child’s lifestyle. Increasing time spent outside is a big factor in this effort. Look for ways that you can encourage children to spend at least one to two hours outside.

There are other aspects of health that can also protect eyesight as well. For example, parents need to look for ways to improve the child’s diet. It is easy to give children processed foods because these ingredients are easily accessible. But, certain nutrients are missing in these foods which are essential to support good visual health.

A healthy diet should include omega-3 essential fatty acids that come from oily fish, as well as antioxidants from green vegetables, fruits, and more. You can find supplementation at the store, but these children’s vitamins should be combined with a healthy diet.

Regular Eye Exams for the Whole Family

Another thing that you can do to protect your child’s eyesight is to schedule regular eye exams. Regardless of their age, every person needs to visit the eye doctor on a consistent basis. At Village Eyecare, our team is experienced in working with children. We want to support your efforts so that your family can maintain great vision. Contact us to schedule appointments in one of our four convenient office locations. We are here to help!