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The most volatile years of myopia onset and development are the growing childhood years.  This is also the time of intensive schooling.  Unfortunately, young children are usually not mindful or responsible enough to take care of their eyes and this is where parents can play a key role.

Parents can control the hours of reading, computing and other near vision activities that the child is engaged in.  A timer can be purchased and set to go off at regular intervals to signal time for an “eye break”.  The child is encouraged to sit properly and not hold the book too close to the eyes.  Reading in bed and in moving cars should be discouraged.  When selecting books for pre-school children, remember to choose books with lots of colourful pictures and large print.

Parents should check the home lighting to ensure adequate brightness.  Replace worn out light bulbs and install reading lamps where necessary.  Tell the child not to read in the dark.  Computers should be ergonomically positioned and hours spent on TV, video and computer games rationed.  In the evening, bring the kids outdoors for some sporting activities.  Make sure homework is completed early and the children sent off to bed early.

Finally, good vision is surely one of our most treasured assets.  It is said that 80% of the information we gather from the world around us comes via our eyes.  Yet most of us tend to take our eyes for granted.  Those of us who have suffered from eye problems would have given some serious thought to what life would be like without good vision.  Granted there are those who live happy and productive lives without it but those who are blessed with good eyesight would certainly not trade it for all the money in the world!  We should not wait until serious problems beset our eyes before we begin to take care of them.  Let’s make a start now to take better care of our eyes!

“He that is stricken blind cannot forget the precious treasure of his eyesight lost.” 
Romeo and Juliet

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