We protect our kids with bicycle helmets, sunscreen, knee pads, stair gates, and BPA-free drinking cups. Some people say that today’s parents are too protective, while others argue that we should employ all available knowledge and technology to protect our little ones as much as we possibly can. Cot mattresses with breathing monitors, baby monitors with cameras, GPS trackers in children’s watches… a logical choice for some, but signs of helicopter parenting for others. Opinions on this also differ widely across cultures and countries. In the Netherlands – a cycling country par excellence – most kids ride their bikes without helmets on. In France, wearing a helmet is compulsory.
When it comes to children’s eyes, however, ignorance still abounds. Sunglasses on toddlers are far from standard and many parents are unaware of the harmful effects of screen time on children’s eyes. What parents do with this information is up to them, but it is important that they are at least informed about the vulnerability of children’s eyes. Opticians can play a role in this.
Share our tips for healthy children’s eyes with your customers via social media, your website, or printed material, and help keep children’s eyes healthy! You can download our infographic at the bottom of this blog and distribute and print it freely.
- Limit screen time
Spending a lot of time staring at screens increases the risk of myopia. When watching screens, children are mainly focused on near targets instead of looking out into the distance. The eyeball, having to accommodate less (i.e. exert the eye muscles), grows longer. As a result, long-distance vision becomes blurred. High myopia (severe level of nearsightedness, -6 or more) increases the risk of developing eye disease at a later age. One in three children with severe nearsightedness develops a serious visual impairment or eye disease later in life. You can limit the risk by applying the following 20-2-20 rule: after 20 minutes of screen time, have your child take a 2-minute break in which they look at something at least 20 meters off.
- Play outside!
When children play outside, their eyes alternate between near and distant objects, which means they are constantly accommodating. It is recommended that children spend at least 2 hours a day outside. This includes walking/cycling to school and playing outside during school breaks.
- Protection against UV radiation
Children’s eyes are particularly sensitive to UV radiation because they contain less pigment than adults’ eyes. Too much sunlight can even permanently damage your kid’s eyes! It is therefore important to protect their eyes with good sunglasses and/or a broad-rimmed hat. A good pair of sunglasses has category 3 lenses, offers 100% UV protection, and has a good fit. In addition, they must be free of toxic substances, BPA, and any other plasticizers.
- Strong and save glasses
Kids should be able to play carefree, with or without glasses. Choose strong, flexible glasses suitable for romping, running, and jumping – or opt for extra sports glasses to supplement regular glasses. These glasses can take some knocks and are very durable.
Download the infographic of this blog in PDF or jpeg. Distribute and print it freely!
We are Milo&Me, an international team of eyewear professionals, designers, and marketers who believe all kids should feel free to play the way they want. Wearing glasses should not get in the way of kids to sport, play and run around. We created kids eyewear with a perfect fit, extreme flexibility, and awesome stay-on capacity. And, perhaps most important of all… kids look awesome with Milo&Me glasses! Check out more about us and our frames on our website.