Eye care tips for children aged 0 to 6

chinacdc.cn | Updated: 2022-03-30
The period from birth to age 6 is crucial for children's visual development. Parents should pay attention to any abnormal situations of their children’s eyes, arrange regular eye examinations and help them to develop good eye health habits. 
Infant period (age 0 to 1)
Parents should take their babies to the eye doctor as soon as possible if they find their eyes have purulent secretion and epiphora, or the sizes of the two eyes are obviously different or white in the pupillary zone.
Healthy children should have an eye examination at the ages of a month, three months, six months, eight months and 12 months.
Preterm infants are prone to retinopathy of prematurity, which may cause blindness. Preterm infants must undergo fundus examination according to a doctor’s instructions. 
Infants'visual development needs good ambient brightness.
Keep the room bright during the day. Turn off the lights when infants sleep at night.
Keep infants'eyes clean.
Baby period (age 1 to 3)
Parents should take their babies to the eye doctor as soon as possible if they find them looking at objects too closely, tilting their heads to look at objects, or if they have white in the pupillary zone, photophobia, deviation of eye position, or nystagmus.
Parents should take their babies for eye examination at least once a year. Babies with abnormal results should get further examination in accordance with the eye doctor’s instructions to ensure timely treatment. 
Babies under two years old should avoid using electronic video devices and engage in outdoor activities no less than two hours a day.
Do not allow babies to play with sharp objects such as pencils; babies should avoid exposure to detergents, which have strong acids and alkalis. 
Babies should be taught to wash hands frequently and not to rub their eyes. 
Do not take babies with infectious eye diseases to crowded places. 
Preschool period (age 3 to 6)
Parents should take their children to the eye doctor as soon as possible if they find them looking at objects too closely, squinting, or rubbing their eyes frequently, or if they have deviation of eye position or other eye abnormalities. 
Parents should take children for an eye examination at least once a year. The normal visual acuity of a child is 0.6 at 3 years old, 0.8 at 4 and 1.0 at and above 5. If a child’s eyesight can’t reach the normal level, it may be caused by long sight, astigmatism, anisometropia, strabism or delayed body development, and need further examination and diagnosis. 
Develop good eye-use habits 
“Two decreases and one increase”
1. Decrease the time of using electronic video products
20 minutes per time, less than one hour a day. 
2. Decrease the time of using eyes in close distance
Three “20”s rule of protecting eyesight:
Look at the scene about 20 feet (6 meters) away for 20 seconds after using eyes for 20 minutes.
3. Increase outdoor activities
Two hours of outdoor activity every day to relax eyes.
Engaging in outdoor activities can increase the release of dopamine in the eyes, which can stop the eye axis getting longer and decrease the prevalence of nearsightedness.
Three “1”s for the postures of reading, writing and holding a pen
Keep the eyes 1 foot from the book.
Keep the body 1 fist from the edge of the table.
Keep the fingertips 1 cun (a Chinese measurement unit equal to 1.31 inch) from the pen tip when holding a pen.
Balanced nutrition, no partiality for any particular kind of food, no picky eating
Eat more fruits and vegetables and get enough sleep every day