As we all know, childhood is the "golden period" of children's vision development. Research estimates that there are 99.2 million people with amblyopia in 2019 worldwide. This number is projected to increase to 175.2 million by 2030 and 221.9 million by 2040. Amblyopia is the most common cause of vision problems in children, affecting 2 to 3 out of every 100 kids. If treated early, it can often be corrected. Left untreated, amblyopia can permanently impair vision and depth perception.
For children's vision health, besides regular eye checks, it is also necessary to develop good living habits from an early age.
（Pre-schoolers are clocking more than twice the amount of screen time recommended by the World Health Organisation. ）
Prevention is better than cure
（Living habits will directly affect the healthy development of children’s eyes）
In the age of technology, people's living habits are inseparable from electronic products, and children's entertainment has changed from playing with friends outside the house to playing games online. Due to Covid-19, many countries have adopted online learning, which causes children to spend almost their whole day indoors. Most of their time now is spent doing activities at a near vision distance, such as screentime of electronic devices. This phenomenon occurs with children as young as preschoolers. Children especially in cities have long had a close relationship with electronic devices even before e-learning, which is one of the main factors behind the explosion of myopic children in the world.
Myopia in children is a major concern for all countries across the world. The World Health Organization has issued a statement recommending that children take at least two hours of outdoor activities a day, which helps prevent myopia and the slow growth of myopia.
Cure the disease rather than the symptom
1. Reduce the time of using electronic equipment.
Parents are role models for children to learn, and their daily routines and habits will directly affect their children. With this in mind, parents should lead by example by reducing their own use of electronic devices outside work. This would make enforcing less screen time on their children more of a family decision than just something the child has been dictated to do. Aside from this, developing children's hobbies to replace online-based entertainment would allow children to learn and enjoy other forms of engagement. A few examples of these offline activities are mind-stimulating games, painting, and music.
2. Good living habits start with more outdoor activities!
Outdoor activities help promote eye development and prevent myopia and amblyopia. A child’s vision development period happens before the age of 5. In these prime years, parents are encouraged to take their children outside, such as the seaside, parks, suburbs, etc., to train the children to look at distant views. This is to ensure that the child’s eyes mature under the stimulation of natural light and to avoid eye under development. These are in efforts to reduce the risk of myopia and amblyopia.
(Parents should spend time with children to do outdoor activities.)
During outdoor activities, do not forget to give your children a pair of standard sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays!
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