Vision care is a super important part of keeping kids healthy—and so is teaching them eye-healthy habits! That’s why every year, eye health professionals remind parents and caregivers to make kids’ eye health a priority.
Here are some tips to help you take care of your child’s eyes from the National Eye Institute (NEI) and Prevent Blindness.
1. Be an eye health role model.
Your kids may be more likely to take eye-healthy steps if they see you doing the same! Check out NEI’s simple tips for healthy vision—like choosing eye-healthy foods and getting active. (This resource is available in Spanish, too!)
2. Speak their language.
Talking about eye health can mean a lot of big words (comprehensive dilated eye exam, anyone?!). That’s why it’s important to talk to kids in a way that makes sense to them. Use resources from Prevent Blindness to learn more about healthy vision and then talk to your kids about how to take care of their eyes.
3. Let them take the lead.
NEI’s kid-friendly site makes learning about eye health more engaging for your little ones. Sit with them and watch as they explore NEI for Kids—you can chat about interesting facts or questions that come up.
4. Make it fun!
Learning about eye health is important, but it doesn’t have to feel like work. NEI for Kids also has great activities that show kids just how cool our eyes are. Have some DIY time with your child—show them these optical illusions and cool eye tricks.
5. Check in with older kids.
If you have older kids or teens at home, switch up your approach and make time for a quick check-in. Ask them how their eyes feel and if they have any questions. You can also challenge them with NEI’s eye trivia quiz—see who scores higher!
6. Be mindful about screen time.
Electronic devices are great for learning and play time. But too much screen time can cause vision problems—or make existing problems worse. Check out Prevent Blindness’s screen time tips to learn more. (Also available in Spanish!)
7. Gear up!
Most eye injuries in kids happen when they’re playing sports. Take a look at NEI’s info on sports and eye safety to learn how to protect your kids’ eyes. (Or find it in Spanish!)
8. Know the signs of possible vision problems.
Spotting vision problems can be tricky! Check out this Prevent Blindness resource to learn when your child may need a trip to the eye doctor.
9. Visit the eye doctor together.
Schedule eye doctor appointments for the whole family so you all get the eye care you need! If you need help paying, NEI has tips for getting free and low-cost eye care. (They’re also available in Spanish.)
10. Stay up to date on eye health news.
NEI shares lots of easy-to-understand eye health information on social media—including tips for parents. To get connected, follow NEI on Facebook and Twitter!
If you are concerned about your kid’s eye health, know that it’s never too late to help your kids build eye-healthy habits. And, you don’t need to do it all at once! One small step today can help your family have a brighter future tomorrow.
For over 50 years, the National Eye Institute (NEI) has been on the front lines of vision research—and continues to support cutting-edge research projects that investigate new ways to prevent, treat, or even reverse vision loss. NEI also works to help the public learn about vision problems and how to keep their eyes healthy.