ARTICLE by Natalie Brown

How to improve your child's eye health

 |  Reading time: 4 minutes
B_for_Blog | Natural Baby Shower

Did you know this week is National Eye Health Week?

Each year, National Eye Health Week (NEHW) features different themes to educate on, and one of this year's focuses takes a look at children’s eye health. 

That's because, according to the Department for Education census data, an estimated 1.6 million school-aged children live with an undetected eye problem in England alone.

Therefore we, along with the eye experts, want eye health to be at the very front of parent’s minds and spread the word on what it takes to improve your little one's eye health.

Want to know how? Let's take a look...

How to improve your child's eye health

What is National Eye Health Week?

National Eye Health Week (NEHW) is Eye Health UK's national campaign to raise awareness of keeping “eye-aware”. It encourages people to lead healthy lifestyles and know what they can do to look after their and their little one's optical health.

Statements shared by Vision Express show that over two million people in the UK suffer from sight loss with half of this sight loss is avoidable*. However, with eye-protection, check-ups with your optician and changing certain lifestyle habits, we can help improve this.

Why eye health is important for children

Like many things, it's wise to practice eye-friendly habits while they're still young. Maintaining good eye health helps encourage your little one to reach their full potential both academically and socially. 

The UK National Screening Committee recommends screening at age four to five years, yet there are many opticians who want to see children much younger. 

Instead, they recommend parents to take their children around the age of three and then annually from there on. That's because routine eye exams monitor children's eyes and as they can change quickly as they grow, it means that early detection of vision problems could make a lasting difference.

euro rounds sunglasses

How to keep an eye on it?

Visiting an optician each year with your little one or as soon as anything with their vision changes will help spot potential problems. While not every eye condition has symptoms, it’s good to note some of the signs to look out for.

If your little one displays any of the following behaviours, you may want to speak with your optician:

  • Sitting too close to the TV or screens
  • Experiencing frequent headaches
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Difficulty concentrating or reading
  • Involuntary movement of eye/s
  • Poor handwriting

While some schools offer basic screening to check for these signs, it’s best if parents keep watch as not only do few schools offer this service but vision problems can occur before they’re of school age.

How can you help look after their eyes?

It's not just annual examinations that can help prevent eye ailments, there are a few lifestyle habits you can follow at home to promote good eye health…

Eye-friendly foods

Foods that are packed with vitamins C and E such as fruit, especially oranges and strawberries are great for eye health as it helps restore eye tissues. These powerful antioxidants can also be found in kale, spinach and cabbages. Plus, these healthy nutrients also contribute to cell growth that help fight off infection. 

Regular exercise

Getting your family outdoors with regular exercise is another way. Studies suggest that regular exercise reduces risks for several common eye conditions such as cataracts, wet age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma.


As many of us know, protection is key to maintaining healthy eyes. However, while sunglasses may be a great fashion statement for adults, they should be on your little one's essentials list as nearly 80% of our entire lifetime exposure to harmful light occurs during childhood. 

Therefore good-quality, UV protection is imperative to shield from the sun's harmful light - which often means cheap lenses aren't safe. Children's sunglasses should offer almost 100% protection, which is why we carefully select what products to house here at Natural Baby Shower.

Our fabulous collection of sunglasses offer parents ample choice, though we are always championing our sister brand Babiators for their continued focus on protection and good eye health. We love Babiators not only for their commitment to creating safe and sustainable sunglasses for your little one, but making sure they're stylish too, so that keeping them protected is easy.

babiators keyhole

Where should you start?

If you're wondering where to start in maintaining your family's eye health, we recommend getting them booked in for an eye exam with your local optician.

It should only take a few minutes to book and better yet, children under the age of 16 are entitled to NHS-funded sight tests (covering the cost of a sight test), plus an optical voucher. This also entitles you help towards the cost of glasses or contact lenses if needed. 

Plus, you can also help other parents protect their little ones from poor eye health by simply spreading the word. Just like a dentist appointment, or doctors consultation, visiting your optician should be part of your annual health routine. This, combined with better lifestyle changes, means that we can work together in preventing cases of avoidable sight loss. 

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*Future Sight Loss UK 1: Economic Impact of Partial Sight
and Blindness in the UK adult population. 2009.