Most parents worry about their child’s eyes as soon as she holds a tablet, plays a game on your smartphone or switches on the TV to watch the latest episode of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. They have a host of questions running in their mind – how long she should watch TV, does she have a weak eyesight or what steps should I take to avoid getting weak eyesight in my kids. I had these questions too and so got in touch with Dr. Rupal Gupta, a senior ophthalmic surgeon practising in Gurgaon, and asked her common eye care questions for my daughter. She was very kind to answer them diligently. Here are 10 child eye care questions every parent must ask:
What are the first signs of weak eyesight in kids?
Parents or caregivers should look for these common signs for weak eyesight in kids:
- Squeezing eyes to see TV or far objects
- Standing close to the TV to see clearly
- Keeping head very close to the notebook while writing
- Copying wrong from the classroom board
How much screen time should kids have per day?
Kids shouldn’t have more than 1 hour of screen time. Exposure to TV screen is still better than watching videos or playing games on mobiles or tablets.
Can children get weak eyesight in the genes?
Very few numbers are transmitted genetically. Primarily, these are high minus or high plus numbers. Majority of the numbers are due to random mismatch in the size of the eye at birth.
What is the natural remedy of farsightedness in kids?
There is no natural remedy for farsightedness but exposure to sunlight does help in reducing progression in kids.
Can farsightedness in kids be corrected with nutrition or exercises?
Nutrition and exercise are supplementary for healthy body and eyes but it cannot correct the existing number, however, as I said earlier outdoor activities are helpful in preventing progression of the number.
What steps parents should take to avoid getting weak eyesight in kids?
As we always say prevention is easier than cure, keep kids away from mobiles and tablets which can increase a minus number and expose them to more outdoor activities which is good for their overall health too. These are the common child eye care tips that parents should follow.
At what age surgery can be done in kids to correct weak eyesight?
Till the age of 21 eyes tend to grow hence there is a possibility of a change in number. Therefore, all surgeries to correct eyesight are done after 21 years of age or when there is a stability of number for 1 year.
How often should eyes be checked?
Once a year eye check-up is enough. However, if child has glasses, then every 6 months.
What is computer vision syndrome? What can parents do to ensure that their kids can avoid it?
Computer vision syndrome is tiredness and dryness due to infrequent blinking as a result of continuous staring on the monitors like laptop, desktop, smart phones & tablets.
Parents should engage kids in more outdoor activities and encourage them to use more of printed books than e- books. Nowadays, I see a lot of parents using YouTube videos while feeding kids as young as 6 months which is a dangerous trend.
What is colour blindness? How do kids get it? And what are the ways of identifying that a child has colour blindness?
Colour blindness is a vision condition where a person cannot identify shades of different colours. In extreme cases, they cannot even tell the difference between primary colours like red, green & blue.
In majority of cases, colour blindness is since birth or it can happen due to few diseases of the eyes. Only way to identify is by via eye exams by an ophthalmologist or through colour charts, in case of a child take her or him to a pediatric eye doctor.
Hope this list of 10 Child Eye Care Questions Every Parent Must Ask answers your concerns and queries. If not, do write to me and I will try to get the answers from Dr. Rupal Gupta.
Dr Rupal Gupta (M.S. ophthalmology) is a senior ophthalmic surgeon practising in Gurgaon, Haryana. She has 22 years of experience. Her main area of expertise is Squints & Paediatric eye diseases. She is a visiting consultant at Fortis, W Pratiksha & Kalyani hospitals at Gurgaon. You can meet her at her clinic at:
Drishti eye centre Saraswati complex New Railway road Gurgaon