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Healthy eyes:

5 tips for your child's eye health in Jul-EYE.
By Motherpedia
Date: July 03 2013
Tags: eye health,
Editor Rating:

This month is Eye Health Awareness Month – or JulEYE - and a great reminder of the importance of a regular eye exam. 


  • 75% of vision loss is preventable or treatable if detected early enough, yet every 65 minutes an Australian loses part or all of their vision

  • Neglecting your eyes can mean many chronic health conditions may go undetected, leading to more serious health issues

  • Optometrists have the only clear view of blood vessels, which give them a glimpse into what's going on in the rest of the body – even when a patient is not showing any noticeable symptoms. 

Eye health is important for children too

According to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Opthalmologists (RANZCO), a common misperception of many parents is that eye disease is something for ‘old’ people.

But RANZCO says that eye disease can cause vision loss in babies, children and teenagers as well as adults.

“The first eight years of a child’s life are critical for eye development,” according to Dr Stephen Best from Auckland Hospital and President of RANZCO.

“If problems are not picked up during this time, damage and vision loss can be permanent.”

RANZCO research shows that only 9% of parents believe that their child’s eyesight is the most important aspect of their health.

The most common eyesight problem for children and adults is myopia (short-sightedness). Currently around 8% of children are short-sighted, which increases to 17% by the time they are teenagers. While glasses are generally the solution for myopia, there is other technology available today which frees kids from glasses during the day, while at school and playing sport.

RANZCO suggests that a child may have an eye or vision problem if they show any of the following signs:

  • Eyes appear to wander or are crossed
  • Tilting their head to see better
  • Rubbing their eyes when they are not tired
  • Avoiding activities such as colouring and drawing which are done close to the face
  • Squinting to see things
  • Holding books near to their eyes or sitting close to the television

Because it's Jul-EYE, there's some special offers for kids!

  • Eyecare Kids is offering bulk-billed Medicare eye exams for Motherpedia readers' children. 
  • Eyecare Kids are a series of specially designed child-focused practices that provide both optometric and orthoptic services for children, including eye therapy to children with tracking, focussing and teaming problems as well as lazy and turned eye.  Kids can be given a long term solution to their vision problems and there's also an alternative to wearing glasses.
  • The child-friendly environment enables each consultation to be completed in a fun, interactive and educational way for children from two years old.  If treatment is needed, readers' kids also receive a $50 discount on any treatment over $200, prescribed by the optometric or othoptic specialists at Eyecare Kids. Their locations are in the Sydney suburbs of  Hillsdale, Bankstown, Broadway and Chullora. 
  • All you need to do is print this page and take it with you to get the free consultation and discount if services are needed.
  • See also our Competitions for a chance to win one of two pairs of Specsavers LEGO kids' frames valued at $249 each. 

Here are 5 tips from RANZCO’s Eye Foundation for your child’s eye health

1.  Be Eye Aware

Early detection and treatment is the best defence against eye disease. Children should have their eyes tested at least once every two years. Symptoms to watch out for include rubbing of eyes, poor hand-eye co-ordination, lack of concentration and complaining of headaches, blurred or double vision.

2.  Green is Good

Provide your child with a balanced, nutritious diet rich in fruit and vegetables. Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and yellow vegetables such as pumpkin and carrot will help to keep your child’s eyes healthy.

3.  Hats Help

Make sure that your child always wears a broad-­‐brimmed hat when playing outside, as this will reduce the amount of UV reaching your child’s eyes by up to half.

4.  Specs Appeal

When in the sun, make sure your child wears sunglasses with UV to protect their eyes from damaging UV rays.

5.  Balls Galore

Ensure appropriate safety procedures are covered with your child prior to playing sports that include high velocity ball action. Example sports include: tennis, soccer, basketball and hockey.

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