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Children’s Eye Care Leicester – Can outdoor play help our kids’ eyes?

Kids Playing Outside

A recent study showed that regular outside play could curb short-sightedness (myopia) in children. Researchers in China tested two groups of school children over a three-year period. They found that those children who were regularly playing outside were less likely to become short-sighted.

Two groups were tested: one had 40 minutes of scheduled outdoor play a day and the other had normal classes. At the end of the study, 30.4% of children in the outdoor activities group had developed myopia, compared with 39.5% of children in the control group. While not huge, the percentage difference between the two groups was statistically significant, the researchers said.

Short-sightedness affects up to one in three people in the UK and is becoming more common, but the cause remains unknown. It can run in families but a growing body of evidence indicates that modern lifestyle factors, such as increasing amounts of time in front of the computer or TV, are more to blame.

The recent study findings support the theory that children need to balance ‘close-up’ work, such as reading, with activities that use distance vision.
While more needs to be done in terms of research, it is no bad thing to encourage kids to play outside. Aside from the general health benefits, it may be that spending time outdoors limits how much time is spent doing ‘close-up’ activities, or that getting more daylight helps with eye growth and function.

If you are worried about your child’s vision and think they need a sight test, contact us today. There are a number of tell-tale signs that your child may be developing short-sightedness. Do they sit too close to the television or hold books or objects very closely in order to see them? Repeated blinking, rubbing of the eyes, and movement of one eye rather than both, may also indicate the need for a sight test.

For further advice, please contact us via our website or call the practice on 0116 2448244 / 0116 2705885.

Posted on 18th September 2015 under Childrens Eye Care.


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