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Save Your Vision Month: Help Your Child Develop Good Vision Habits For Life

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Save Your Vision Month: Help Your Child Develop Good Vision Habits For Life

The habits developed in childhood carry through for the rest of your life. This is why it is so crucial to teach and encourage healthy eye habits and to discuss eye health with a pediatric optometrist when children are young. Although some eye diseases and vision impairments cannot be predicted, there are still many everyday, healthy choices that can greatly benefit the eyes. From eating right to limiting UV and blue light exposure, the way a person learns about eye health when they’re young can be greatly advantageous for keeping their eyes healthy throughout their life.

Healthy Eye Habits To Instill In Children

Regular Eye Exams. Children should receive their first eye exam when they are around 6 months old. While this may seem young, it is vital for the early detection of eye illnesses that present early, such as retinoblastoma. After this, your child should come back for an eye exam at age 3 and age 5. After age 5, your child should get a children’s eye exam once a year. These regular eye exams serve several purposes: they check your child’s eye health, they monitor for any change in prescription, and they normalize eye exams. While eye exams are important for the benefits they provide, having a regular annual eye exam also teaches your child that this is something they should continue to do going forward.

Healthy Eating. Healthy dietary habits benefit the body in general, including the eyes. Fresh, unprocessed foods contain vitamins and nutrients such as vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, and more. Healthy eating habits will help protect your child’s eyes against harmful UV rays, will help their eyes create the necessary oils for proper lubrication, and will help their overall vision. Encourage your child to eat vegetables and fruits as their snacks to benefit them throughout their life.

Hand Washing. While everyone should try to avoid touching their eyes too much, this can seem an impossible task with children. By encouraging regular hand washing, your child will reduce the amount of bacteria that can get into the eye from the fingers, lowering the risk for bacterial infection. Teaching your child to avoid rubbing their eyes and to wash their hands after playing outside will help reduce infection now and in the future.

Sunglasses. These are more than just a fashion statement; proper UV blocking sunglasses should be worn year-round to protect the eyes from damaging UV rays. By teaching your child from a young age to wear sunglasses (or a hat, if sunglasses aren’t always available) any time they go outside, it will become second nature to them. Remember that sunglasses are also important in the winter when the UV rays are reflected off of the snow and amplified. 

Minimal Screen Time. All screens, TVs, computers, and smart devices emit blue light. This light can cause eye strain, headaches, and disrupted sleep cycles and should be avoided completely until children are 2 years old. After this, screen time should be limited to one hour until your child reaches age 9. When children do use screens, it is important that they keep the screens far from their face, at least one arm's length away. Limiting screen time when they are young will help develop healthy screen habits as they age and may encourage other, healthier activities.

Children’s Eye Exams In Calgary

To help your child be invested in their eye care and develop healthy eye habits, bring them to a kid-friendly optometrist for a children’s eye exam. Having a great pediatric optometrist will make your child more interested in proper eye care and will ensure they are getting top-quality children’s eye care. To encourage eye care and receive fantastic pediatric optometry, visit Market Mall Optometry in NW Calgary. Our pediatric optometrists will work to assess your child’s vision and eye health and then work with you and your child while making eye exams fun. If you have any eye health questions, make sure to ask the optometrist during the children’s eye exam so that we can help you and your family develop healthy eye habits for life. To book a children’s eye exam in NW Calgary, contact Market Mall Optometry at 1-403-286-4884 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: My child won’t wear their eyeglasses. What can I do?
A: Adjusting to wearing eyeglasses for the first time is difficult for anyone, especially for a child! While every kid is different, staying positive, finding a way to distract your little one, and consistency are key when it comes to helping your child get used to their eyeglasses. If you’re still struggling to get your child to regularly wear their eyeglasses, speak with your pediatric optometrist.

Q: Are all eye exams covered by Alberta Health Care?
A: Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan covers all comprehensive annual eye exams for children aged 0-18 and for adults aged 65+. The AHCIP also provides coverage for all emergency visits to the eye doctor.

Q: Are children’s eye exams and adult eye exams different?
A: Yes, in children’s eye exams we assess conditions that are common in children, such as lazy eyes and crossed eyes. We also do functional eye exams that are used to pinpoint other issues that may be causing learning difficulties for the child.

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