Several years ago, there was some problem with my eyes. I went to see doctors many times. In these days, I was very afraid I would be blind. And I saw many children see eye doctors too. One of my daughter’s friends, a 3 years old girl, also has eye problems. I know to protect my child’s eyes is very important. So I forbid my daughter use screen products for a long time and try to help protect her eyes. In order to cure my eyes and protect my daughter’s eyes, I spend much time on this field-consult eye doctors, read related books, get information on the internet. I think it is worth doing that as a father. Almost all children don’t know the importance of protecting eyes. As parents, most of us are not eye doctors. But it is parents’ responsibility to protect our child’s eyes. Protect child’s eyes against sun damage According to some study, child’s eyes allows 70% more UV rays to enter retina than an adult, and people receive 80% of lifetime exposure to UV rays before the age of 18. Exposure to UV rays can burn the front surface of eyes. To prevent child’s eyes from UV damage, we can do the following things. Prepare sunglasses with UV protection function. But remember, not all of sunglasses can block UV rays and darkness of the glasses doesn’t indicate how well it will protect child’s eyes. But if you are on the ski slopes or beach, you should wear a darker tint to block more light. UV rays are present on cloudy days too. So your child still needs to use related product. Keep children out of direct sunlight between 10:00 am and 16:00 pm when the sun’s rays are the strongest. A hat or umbrella is more ideal for younger children -Use a cover or shield on your stroller Get children out of the house and increase time outdoors Outdoor activities can help child stay healthy and can also delay the development of myopia. However, try to avoid the hottest time of the day (typically from 10:00 to 16:00). And if needed, try to use safety glasses or some other protective equipment to shield your child’s eyes and faces. Wash hands to avoid rubbing eyes Washing hands is the best way to protect your child from the spread of disease. Small kids like to play with sand. If he/she rubs his/her eyes with dirty hands, that may contract eye-related conditions, such as conjunctivitis. When your child is using eye drops, be sure to wash hands before and after putting in eye drops. In this way, you can avoid spreading disease to others. Eye drops Don’t use any eye drops or related products before you ensure it is safe! Many people use eyedrops to manage eye problems. But if your child uses the wrong products, it may cause some other problems. Many eye drops have preservative, and that can cause issues on eyes if you use too much. So if you want to buy eye drops by yourself, try to choose preservative-free products. Intake of vegetables, fatty fish, nuts and fruits Lutein and zeaxanthin are good for eyes. Many food contains these nutrients, such as collard greens, kale, brussels sprout, spinach, egg yolks, avocado, corn, carrots, pistachios, almonds, orange peppers, kiwi, cashews, goji berries, orange juice, peanuts, grapes and zucchini. Eating fatty fish like tuna, herring and salmon is also beneficial to the development of eyes. Drinking plenty of water each day is good for eyes, that can provide fluid for normal eye function. Vision supplements Lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, vitamin B1, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C are good for eyes. Usually diet should be the primary source of these supplements. If you cannot get enough supplements from food, you can try to get some vision supplements products. But remember, they are not a substitute for medication and not a cure for health problems. You need to get information about your health from a doctor. Don’t let your child smoke As an adult, we know that smoking is bad for our lungs. It can also hurt our eyes-smoking can harm the optic nerve. So never let your child smoke. Prevent damage from screens Many people, including children, spend much time with their eyes fixed on a tablet, TV, smartphone or computer screens. These digital devices emit blue light which can contribute to repetitive eye strain, dry eyes, associated headaches and blurred vision. To help protect your child’s eyes, we need to know: Follow 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes your child need to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds min. Take breaks from the screens altogether every 1~2 hours Your child should hold digital devices as far away from eyes as is comfortable. The distance is especially important for children. To reduce the amount of blue light exposure, we need to turn down the brightness level of screens. CFL and LED lighting also emit blue light; pay attention on these lights or toys Try to use some APPs to reduce blue light emission for the devices Looking at screens may cause problems on eyes, but research found that some screen viewing can be of benefit to eyes, especially playing video games. So it is best to get professional advice from a doctor. Avoid use UV light If you have UV light in your home, you must ensure it is in a safe place and your child cannot reach the light. Keep child away from harmful toys Some toys, such as BB gun, are dangerous for children to play. We must be very careful. And some toys have LEDs which can emit blue light. So don’t let your children play with these toys for a long time. Reading in dim lighting background First, dim lighting won’t damage eyesight. But it will tire the eyes out more quickly. It is best to use a desk lamp with an opaque shade pointing directly at the reading material, not over shoulder. Contact lenses and glasses Not wearing glasses will strain the eyes and tire them out instead of resting the eyes. And usually it won’t lead to eye disease or make your eyesight worse. So if your child needs contacts or glasses for reading or distance, just use them. But shower, swimming and sleeping in contact lenses will increase the risk for a potentially blinding eye infection. If your child uses contact lenses, you can read this article to learn how to properly care for contact lenses. Help keep healthy eye care habits – When your child is playing or reading, try to provide adequate lighting;-When reading, keep about 50 cm away from electronic devices or 30~40 cm away from books-Try to sleep for 8min hours each day-Help avoid picky eating Get enough sleep It is not enough to just rest your eyes for some minutes. Eyes will become renewed when your body gets enough rest. So you must try to let your child sleep for enough time every day. Recommended sleep time from sleepfoundation.org : Newborns(0-3 months): Infants (4-11 months): Toddlers(1-2 years): Preschoolers(3-5 years): School-aged children(6-13 years): Teenagers(14-17 years): Young adults(18-25 years): 14-17 hours 12-15 hours; 11-14 hours; 10-13 hours; 9-11 hours; 8-10 hours; 7-9 hours Reference 1). https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/keep- your-eyes-healthy2). https://www.preventblindness.org3). https://www.aap.org4). https://www.vsp.com/eyewear-wellness/eye-health/digital-eye-strain 5). https://www.aao.org/eye-health Disclaimer: I gather the information just because I want to help protect my daughter’s eyes. If you have questions related eyes, please try to get professional advice from a doctor.