10 tips from Hawaiian Eye Center to protect your keiki’s eyesight

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The 2023-24 school year is underway and Wahiawa, O‘ahu-based Hawaiian Eye Center wants to make sure keiki’s eyesight is safe and protected.

Courtesy photo from Hawaiian Eye Center

With an increase in computer and screen usage, as well as new germs in classrooms, there can be serious consequences on children’s eyes and vision. That is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology designated August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

A University of California, Los Angeles study found roughly 80% of classroom learning is visual, meaning there is a crucial need to monitor and maintain your student’s eye health. Hours of learning can cause a lot of strain and pressure on the eyes, which could lead to risks for nearsightedness, myopia, dry eye disease and other vision ailments and concerns.

Hawaiian Eye Center suggests these 10 helpful tips to protect and preserve your children’s eye health:

  • Encourage 20-second breaks from closeup work every 20 minutes.
  • Set a timer to remind kids to take those breaks and rest their eyes.
  • Keep digital media 18 to 24 inches away from the face.
  • Introduce nutritious and balanced meals and snacks full of vitamins A, C, and E.
  • Make sure keiki are getting full and well-rested sleep.
  • Protect their eyes outside with proper eyewear.
  • Limit screen time to a maximum of 1 to 2 hours a day for kids ages 2 to 5, guided screen time with frequent breaks for kids older than 5 and no screen time for keiki younger than 1 year old.
  • Manage their screen time to support educational use while limiting cartoons and video games.
  • Make them spend time outdoors to balance out close-up work and receive crucial doses of natural light.
  • Maintain regular comprehensive eye exams to catch possible signs of eye problems or a need for glasses.

Dr. Steven Rhee with Hawaiian Eye Center said if you notice your keiki showing signs of having a short attention span, eye pain or difficulty concentrating, it might be a sign that they are having vision problems and needs help.

To learn more, click here.


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