Healthy outdoor play, even now in the winter, can help prevent your child from becoming more nearsighted.
Below are some tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.
How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia
Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of becoming more nearsighted (myopia progression) than children who don’t. Researchers aren’t certain as to why that happens, but we, the doctors at Family Rye Care in Old Bridge, have our own ideas as to why. Some believe that it is the sunlight and the fact that children are using their distance vision when they are outdoors. We think that it has a lot more to do with the fact that when children are outdoors, they are not looking at their devices and overworking the visual system at near.
So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.
Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as Retinal Detachment, Glaucoma, Cataracts, nd Maculopathy.
3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter
Play With Snow
Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing in the snow is fun and something everyone can enjoy. Obviously bundle up to stay safe and warm. Send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze or a snow fort. This can be fun for the whole family! If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, then play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.
Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?
But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:
- Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
- Protect your head with a helmet
- Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
- Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult
Create Outdoor Art
This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice. They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.
At Family Eye Care, our goal is to help slow your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.
To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!
Family Eye Care serves patients from Old Bridge, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, and throughout New Jersey.