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Promoting Eye Health In Our Settings

September 21, 2022
5 minute read

Eye health is so important - not just for the children, but for us and our practitioners too!

For those of us who are office based, we should follow the 20-20-20 rule when working at our computer. That means look away from your computer for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes and focussing on something 20 meters away.


It has been recommended that we sit at least 25 inches from our screen, and that we position it lower than eye level so we gaze down slightly at it. Reduce glare with proper lighting, and/or use anti-glare film over your screen. We should remember to take frequent breaks from our screens and get up and walk around.

Lighting is also a huge factor in ensuring our eyes stay healthy! Having good lighting in your offices and classrooms/playrooms. Warm light is best for the eyes. This includes filtered natural light and light produced by incandescent and LED light bulbs. Spread out lighting in your home and workspace to ensure sufficient lighting.

We must practise what we preach to our teams and actually do this too!

We must get our eyes tested regularly - quite often opticians send out promotions for free or cheap eye tests, take advantage of these and share them with your teams, every little helps these days!

How well is your first aid kit stocked? Do you have eye wash an eye pads? (not iPad's!) Have a look at this article Safety First Aid | First Aid For Eyes ( to help us ensure we know the correct first ad for the eye!

It'll definitely come in handy when you get that little persons sandy finger in your eye, or a wooden block/baby head in your eye! Or if you're like me, and make the rooky mistake of creating sensory art with spices with little ones, and they all rub every single spice into their eyes! (that was definitely a teachable moment for me as a newly qualified practitioner!)

So how can we support eye health with our babies and children?

Tummy Time:

During tummy time, babies follow object with their eyes and learn to use both eyes together. Tummy time also improves hand-eye coordination as babies constantly look down at hands to determine how they can manoeuvre or move. Tummy time is great for children of all ages, there are many more benefits to tummy time which I'm sure I'll talk to you about another day!

Outdoor Play:

Playing outside can support children with mytopia - or as you and i might understand it "short sightedness".

Myopia can be inherited, or can be caused by certain lifestyle habits, such as prolonged screen time and other near vision tasks.

With increasing indoor “play” such as video games and watching television, the amount of time children spend outdoors has significantly decreased.

Studies show that children who spend just one hour outdoors each day can reduce their risk of developing myopia by over 14 percent.

Being outdoors and focusing on objects in the distance gives your eye muscles a chance to relax— especially after hours of staring at the screen or learning in the classroom.

Similar to the other muscles in the body that need to relax after periods of strengthening or constant use, the eye muscles need to relax as well.

Eye doctors recommend spending between 60 and 80 minutes outdoors everyday to promote eye health and reduce the risk of myopia development.

Protection From the Sun:

UV rays can be harmful for your eyes. It is important to never look directly at the sun and to wear a good quality pair of sunglasses during bright weather. Everybody spending time outside should take precautions and be encouraged to wear sunglasses, children AND practitioners included.

Share information with families about booking a sight test:

The word on the street is that children around the age of 3 should be having an eye test at least every two years. There are things that we can do to support families in taking their children for their fit eye test, and so its not such a shock for the children! We can make a note on our three year progress checks to remind families that now is the time to get their children's eyes tested. Within our settings we have have a range of activities to support this too. We can read books about going for eye tests such as This One ( . We can provide play glasses for in our dressing up area, and create an opticians in our role play areas. Talking to children, watching clips, reading stories and talking about our own eye tests can really help prepare the children for the unknown. All children under the age of 16 are entitled to NHS-funded sight tests and glasses.

Colour blind tests

There are many ways to determine whether a child may be colour blind. One way is to complete this test with them as a fun activity Colour Blind Test Game ( . There are posters and books you can buy to add to your setting too.

Take a look at Vision Matters (  and download our FREE RESOURCE to see how you can promote good eye health across your setting!

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