A simple approach to protecting children’s eyes
Children’s exposure to Blue light
At some point many parents have benefited from the distraction that a digital device provides their child, which is why the blue light emitted from phones, tablets and televisions has grown to be a talking point amongst parents. Research suggests that children aged 8-10 years old are spending approximately 5.5 hours of time in front of a digital device each day. Research also shows that these digital devices emit high-energy blue light rays that penetrate deeper into the eye than other light rays, which can potentially cause harm to young eyes.
Eating well to protect kid’s eyes
We’ve all heard the saying that carrots are good for our eyes and can even help us see in the dark, it turns out this is more than just a story told by parents to get their kids to eat vegetables. Carrots are rich in Lutein and Beta-carotene and despite being crucial nutrients required for eye health, they are not produced within the body and needs to come from our diet. Sources of Beta-carotene and Lutein come predominately from vegetables rich in colour including broccoli, squash, carrots, spinach & sweet potato. Many parents would agree that it is often difficult to get our children to eat the (RDI) recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.
It is a well-known fact that our best sources of nutrients come from eating a healthy and balanced diet, however, most Australian kids only consume half the daily recommended serves of fruit and vegetables. If your child falls within this category, then taking an eye health supplement could help to fill some of these nutritional gaps and protect their eye health in the long term.
A good way to think of how eye supplements work is that they act as natural sunglasses and shield eyes from harmful rays – like UV rays from the sun or blue light rays from digital devices, so it’s like applying sunscreen to the skin to protect it from sun damage. Like sunglasses and sunscreen, eye supplements are best used regularly for effective protection. If you are considering purchasing an eye supplement for your child make sure to look for one that contains some of the following ingredients:
- Lutein: An important nutrient which is taken up by the eye to support the macula and protect the retina by filtering and absorbing high-energy blue light.
- Beta-carotene (Provitamin A): A potent antioxidant that helps protect cells within the eye and helps you see in the dark.
- Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant that protects the eyes from free radical damage.
Digital devices are here to stay and we should continue to use them to educate and entertain the kids. As parents, we shouldn’t fear blue light, but instead be aware of its effects and of the best ways to protect young eyes. Make sure to pack as many dark leafy green vegetables, yellow vegetables and fruits as you can into their diets and limit screen time where possible. For those kids with nutritional gaps, supplementation can help top up the nutrients needed to protect young eyes and maximise their natural defence against blue light.