3 Kids’ Eye Health Myths

There are several myths about kids’ eye health that have been passed down over the years and are often believed by parents. These myths can sometimes prevent parents from recognizing real problems or can delay proper treatment methods. It is important for parents to research and separate the fact from fiction when it comes to kids’ eye health.

Common Eye Myths

Some of the most common myths about kids’ eye health are that kids can develop eye problems from sitting too close to the television, wearing contacts is dangerous for kids, and that eating a lot of carrots will help to improve eyesight. These myths have been disproven by scientific research, but still continue to surface.

Myth 1 – Sitting Too Close to Television Can Damage Eyesight

Many children sit close to the television screen because children’s eyes are often able to focus on close objects more easily than adults. However, sitting very close may be a warning sign that a child is nearsighted and is having problems seeing the television screen. The myth that sitting too close could damage eyesight began in the 1960s, when televisions emitted harmful rays. Televisions have since been modified and no longer emit rays that may damage eyesight. Staring at a screen for long periods of time may cause eye strain and blurred vision, though, so kids should take frequent breaks from the television to reduce the likelihood of these issues.

Myth 2 – Contact Lenses Are Dangerous for Kids

Contact lenses can be helpful in situations where the child has very different prescriptions for each eye, has undergone surgery, or has suffered from certain diseases. If a child under the age of ten will be using contact lenses, a parent should be assisting with inserting, removing, and cleaning the lenses. This myth may have been started because children can damage their eyes if contacts are removed or inserted without assistance. Contact lenses for kids should only be obtained with a prescription, and should only be used after talking to a doctor.

Myth 3 – Eating Carrots Can Improve Eyesight

Carrots contain vitamin A, which is a vitamin that is necessary to good health. However, eating carrots has not seemed to improve the eyesight in studies, nor does research support this claim. A deficiency of vitamin A may cause nighttime blindness, so eating carrots may help to prevent or treat this condition. This may be the truth behind the myth that frequently eating carrots will improve eyesight.

Good Practices for Kids’ Eye Health

It is important for parents to understand practices that will promote healthy vision in children, and ignore the myths. Sunlight can damage eyesight, so children should wear sunglasses, especially at times of the day and year when the sun is strongest. Children should also wear protective goggles or glasses when participating in activities that may damage the eyes. Last but not least, children should be taken in for regular check-ups with an eye doctor to monitor eye and vision development and spot potential problems.