As the start to the school year fast approaches, it’s important to remember your child’s vision is an important tool for learning. Whether reading math problems off the white board or history from a textbook, healthy eyes and correct vision are part of successful school year.

Here are 10 tips you can follow to ensure your child’s eyesight and health make the grade:

  1. Regular eye tests. Along with the eye screening tests at school, a child should see their optometrist at least every two years. If your child already uses corrective lenses, they should have an exam annually.
  2. Wear your glasses or corrective lenses. If your child is prescribed glasses or contact lenses, make sure they are consistent! Not wearing corrective lenses could cause more strain on the eyes resulting in more damage. Proper storage and cleaning of lenses is also crucial to eye health.
  3. Protect the eyes. Protecting the eyes from the sun and from possible injury is the best preventative safety measure. Choose sunglasses with UVA and UVB protection, and always wear safety goggles when playing sports, mowing the lawn, or around chemicals.
  4. Keep them clean. It sounds like a no-brainer, but children tend to have a habit of touching their eyes or face. By keeping hands clean, you’re not only keeping away germs and illness but keeping the eyes free of debris or other foreign objects that could be damaging. If your child wears corrective lenses, properly washing hands before handling them is a must in maintaining eye health.
  5. Eye friendly diet. Not just carrots! Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, along with healthy fats from tuna, salmon and avocado are essential to proper eye development. Make sure your child eats a rainbow of foods that include antioxidants, vitamins A, C and E for great eye health.
  6. Encourage sleep. Like the rest of your body, repair and restoration happens when you sleep. Getting the proper amount of sleep each night will help your child to wake up bright-eyed and ready to take on the day.
  7. Play outdoors. While outdoors, the eyes’ senses are enhanced by perceiving various colors and from adjusting to objects at different proximities. This aids with healthy eye development and is especially important for young kids.
  8. Computer screens. Scientifically speaking, computer screens, along with other blue light devices, do not damage the eyes or eyesight but prolonged exposure could be damaging in the long term. Setting a daily limit on devices is a great idea to keep exposure and eye strain low. Also, invest in blue light lenses for doing homework on a device
  9. Family history. Be open about your family medical history. Do both parents wear corrective lenses or have a history of eye diseases? This information is helpful for your child’s optometrist and in keeping on top of potential vision problems.
  10. Talk about it. Are your kids sitting too close to the TV, squinting constantly, or closing one eye to see better? Make sure your kids know to speak up if they notice any changes in their vision. The earlier detection and correction is made, the better off their overall vision will be.