For growing children, the eyes are their windows to the world as they explore new surroundings and learn new things each day. Thus, assuring their healthy vision is vital in providing them the best foundation for their early development. However, active children’s eyes undergo plenty of stress daily. Aside from the invisible ultraviolet light that can damage their eyes, there are also blue light rays that can harm their vision.
“Blue light is a wavelength within the visible spectrum of light. Despite having a wavelength that is less strong than ultraviolet radiation, it still has the ability to penetrate the skin and cause cell damage,” explains Dr. Mary Rose Teodoro-Chang, a pediatric ophthalmologist. “It’s the most energetic portion among visible light and is present in varying degrees and intensity in everything we see.”
A child’s eyesight, rapidly developing from birth to four years of age, continues to develop its 20/20 vision, until he reaches the age of 7 when the process begins to slow down. Being at their healthiest at the onset, the eyes’ lenses can be very clear and can absorb more light, making them more susceptible to damage caused by the accumulation of free radicals on the eyes. This eventually causes lesions on the retina.
In order to avoid the hazardous effects of blue light on children’s eyes, mothers should be equipped with the proper knowledge on how to shield their children’s eyes through proper nutrition. Mothers should be aware about Lutein, a key nutrient that helps shield the eyes from harmful blue light rays. It also slows down oxidation, preventing free radicals in the eyes.
“Accumulation of free radical in the eyes can cause irreversible damage,” Dr. Teodoro-Chang says. “Lutein serves as a filter against the damaging effects of overexposure to blue light.”
Experts highly recommend introducing Lutein-rich food sources to a child’s diet. Spinach and other vegetables, preferably green and leafy ones, are excellent sources of lutein.
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With studies proving the importance of Lutein in children’s eye health, children’s nutrition companies such as Wyeth has also pioneered the inclusion of the much needed nutrient in its milk formula.
Apart from diet considerations, children can also be trained to maintain healthy eyesight habits. Caution them from watching too much television, spending plenty of time in front of the computer, and overexposing themselves under the sun’s direct rays.
With the healthy habit of staying away from too much light exposure, a steady supply of green vegetables and recommended servings of a Lutein-rich milk food supplement, mothers can be assured that their children are in the best condition to see the world through a brighter point of view.