Studies have proven that children of all ages are far less likely to suffer from myopia when they play outside for 3-4 hours a day. This might seem like a lot, but you can count at least one hour of a school day; recess and lunch, and then there is sports. With some outdoor furniture to relax in, you can be comfortable while watching over your children.
No parent wants their child to develop any disease or ‘defect’, especially if it can be prevented. The trouble is that most people just don’t realise how many things could easily and simply be prevented by taking the simplest of actions. For instance, many children develop myopia or nearsightedness when they need not, with the result they have to wear glasses for the rest of their lives.
This is not only costly, but can decrease their self confidence and even prevent them from playing certain sports. Yet it is easily preventable. How?
Simply by making sure your child spends a lot of time outdoors rather than watching TV, playing computer games or even reading a book. These things increase the strength of the near-sighted muscles in the eyes to the detriment of the muscles that enable them to see for a longer distance.
The trouble with many computer games is that the screen is so small that even children with good eyesight have to squint to see the figures on it. And many are poorly lit, or have poor quality graphics, making it even more difficult.
But playing outside in the backyard gives their eyes a break from close-up work and encourages them to focus on things that are further away. The result is a healthier balance and better distance eyesight – and of course, no need for them to wear spectacles.
It is easy to get children outside to play if you dedicate some of the backyard to a play area with swing, slippery dip and trampoline. But when they are little you need to be out there with them. So you also need to create a pleasant place to sit and watch over them, otherwise you’ll want to go back inside and they will follow you.
One or two chairs or a chaise and table will enable you to sit down with your coffee and read a magazine while keeping one eye on your kids as they bounce or swing their way to good health and great eyesight.
You can also play outside games with them or at least encourage them to play by getting them a ball, a sand pit, a bike and other outdoor games and equipment. Even simply playing games with their trucks, cars or a dolls house outside counts as being good for their eyes.