We have some top tips for healthy eyes for you as well as a fab fun puzzle for you to try. Put your eyesight to the test with this fiendish winter-themed “Where’s Wally” style picture puzzle. Lurking somewhere in this jumble of reindeer, red noses, horns and colourful scarves, a little red-breasted robin is perched on a reindeer’s head. Can you spot it? Can your youngsters find it faster than you?
Created by eyecare specialists Focus Clinics, this fun picture puzzle is more than a brain-teaser, it could also help you identify whether your youngster may have an issue with their vision. It is estimated that around 1 million children in the UK have an undiagnosed vision problem that could be affecting everything from their behaviour and performance at school, to their ability to complete certain tasks.
Can you find the little robin?
With young eyes undergoing very rapid change as they develop, it’s very important to keep your little one’s vision in mind as they grow up. These tips will help you keep their eyes happy and healthy…
- Look out for signs of a vision problem
This fun robin game isn’t a diagnostic tool for vision problems, but it may indicate that your youngster has an issue with vision in some cases – especially if you’ve also noticed other symptoms. These may include:
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Sitting too close to the television
- Misbehaving at school
- Reading difficulties
- Concentration problems
- Eyes which appear to drift
- Arrange regular tests
Children should have eye tests every two years (or more if recommended by your optometrist) to ensure their eyes are developing as they should be. The earlier conditions such as lazy eyes, squints, short sightedness and long sightedness are picked up, the better the outcome often is – so make an appointment if you have any concerns in the interim.
- Encourage outdoor play
Whether it’s down to physical activity, vitamin D or melanin, playing outside has been shown to slow down and even prevent the onset of short-sightedness, so make sure your youngsters get outside for playtime every day.
- Buy them sunglasses
Make sure that your youngster’s eyes are protected during outside playtime. UV can be very harmful to young skin and eyes, which is why wearing sunglasses is very important. The clearness of young lenses lets more potentially damaging light into the eye, so make sure kids are wearing UV 400 sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when UV levels reach three or above. Check the Met Office website to monitor levels.
- Feed them five-a-day
Your little ones probably won’t thank you for this one until they’re older, but fruit and vegetables are packed with nutrients which promote the healthy development of eyes (and everything else too!). Eating a “rainbow” of fruit and veg will help youngsters get the ingredients they need to develop healthily. Tomatoes, blueberries, melons and grapes are especially good for ocular health.
Don’t forget, if you have any worries about your child’s eyesight, a visit to your optometrist is essential. Make an appointment as soon as possible.