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How to protect your child's vision health?

According to Global-Daily's report, in a recent episode of World Health Organization's "Science in Five minutes," an expert discussed the escalating trend of vision problems among children and the crucial measures parents can take to protect their eyesight. Hosted by Vismita Gupta-Smith, the conversation covered early signs, causes, risk factors, and preventative measures.

### Early Signs Of Vision Issues

Emphasizing the need for vigilance, experts suggest that parents, teachers, and adults be alert to potential signs of vision problems in children. These signs include eye rubbing, squinting, closing one eye to see more clearly, holding reading materials or devices extremely close, and a general underperformance at school. If any of these indicators are present, a comprehensive eye examination is recommended.

### Causes And Risk Factors

Approximately 20% of the global population, or close to 2 billion people, are short-sighted, with genetics playing a significant role. Children with short-sighted parents are more likely to develop the same issue. However, lifestyle factors are equally important, including intensive near-work activities like prolonged use of digital devices and reduced time spent outdoors.

### Digital Devices And Outdoor Play

The early exposure of children to digital devices contributes to the rising trend of vision problems. Comprehensive eye examinations for children are emphasized, even if they already wear glasses, as the nature of childhood short-sightedness and long-sightedness means that prescriptions change over time.

Research shows that spending at least 90 minutes outdoors during daylight hours is a protective factor against the development of short-sightedness. Encouraging children to engage in outdoor activities and play becomes crucial in this context. Additionally, reducing the time spent on near-activities, such as prolonged device use, is essential.

### Clarifying Misconceptions

Addressing a common misconception, it is highlighted that encouraging children to wear their glasses consistently does not worsen vision; instead, it ensures that the child is not straining to see clearly.

### The Protective Effect Of Outdoor Play

Experts acknowledge strong evidence indicating that playing outside protects a child’s eyesight. While the exact mechanism remains uncertain, it is believed that increased exposure to natural light helps the eyes develop at a normal rate.

In conclusion, the importance of awareness, regular eye check-ups, outdoor activities, and responsible device use in maintaining and promoting children’s eye health is emphasized. Taking these steps can significantly contribute to reducing the prevalence of vision issues among the younger population. (Source: Global Daily)

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