Believe it or not, you should start thinking about your baby’s eye health as soon as you find out that you are expecting! While you might be tempted to leave things up to Mother Nature, there are steps you can take to protect your baby’s eyesight. Let’s explore what these are.
Eat Healthy During Pregnancy
Fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish contain key antioxidants and nutrients that are needed for healthy eye development. Also taking a prenatal supplement with DHA is beneficial, especially if you worry that you’re not getting the right nutrients in your food.
Offer Baby Eye-Healthy Foods
Once your baby is born, there is even more you can do. Continue eating healthy to set a good example. Introduce the same nutritious foods into your baby’s diet, including salmon, canned tuna and pollock. Avoid swordfish, mackerel and shark because they contain high levels of mercury.
Keep Your Toddler Away from Sharp Objects
Once your baby turns into a toddler, they will be mobile and able to get into more things. Childproof your home and keep all sharp objects out of reach. Install corner guards on sharp edges such as tables and fireplaces. Also provide your toddler with age-appropriate toys that encourage visual development.
Watch for Signs of Eye Conditions
As your child gets older, watch for the warning signs of potential eye conditions. Crossed or turned out eyes can indicate a potential problem, as can clouding or haziness in the pupil. If you have any concerns, speak to your pediatrician. It’s better to eliminate worry early on.
Protect Eyes in the Sun
Anytime you spend time outdoors, protect your baby’s eyes. Baby sunglasses, sun hats and sun shades are all effective at blocking out harmful UV rays. You should also install a sunshade on your car windows so that your little one is kept safe while driving.
Wear Protective Eye Gear
As your child gets older and wants to play sports, make protective eye gear a necessity, not a choice. Protective eye gear is available online or from sports stores. For tips on how to choose the right eyewear for your child, here are some helpful suggestions.
Doctors have varying opinions about how often children should see the eye doctor. Talk to your eye specialist about what’s right for your child and keep on top of the best practices for handling eye emergencies. Your child only gets one set of eyes in their lifetime, and healthy habits start today!