Educating Our Kids About UV Protection
What part of the body allows us to read a book? What part of the body lets you see a colorful rainbow in the sky?
Your eyes work from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you close them to sleep at night. They take in lots of information – colors, shapes, sizes and so much more!
I was recently invited to the Crown Preschool and Little Thumb Preschool in Vancouver to speak to their classes about the eyes. From the moment I walked in the door, I was welcomed with eager minds and quizzical expressions, wondering what on earth I was going to talk to them about.
I started with a brief tour of the eye – the purpose of our eye brows, eyelids and eyelashes. We even acted out how many times we blink in one minute. (Fun fact, we blink 6 million times in one year!) We explored the different colored irises we can have and how we inherit them from our parents.
One brave volunteer even came to the front to help me demonstrate what happens when they come to see me for an eye exam.
The children also learned about how to protect their eyes from the sun with sunglasses, and from sport injuries with protective eyewear.
We discussed how dark green and orange vegetables, like kale, spinach and orange peppers, have special vitamins that keep our eyes healthy.
Finally, we discussed the 20-20-20 rule of giving our eyes a break and protecting them by resting.
I don’t know who had more fun, the children or me!
My favorite and most memorable moment is when I managed to have 25 three year olds repeat the parts of the eye with me – there is absolutely nothing cuter than toddlers saying “Cornea! Iris! Retina!”. My heart nearly exploded with love!
As a reminder to all the big kids out there, infants should have their first eye exam at 6 months old, at 3 years old, before entering school and then yearly there-after. An optometrist can complete this test even if your child doesn’t know their ABCs yet.
Our office is kid friendly, with a dedicated play area and many child friendly ways to evaluate vision and eye health .
(PS: we have a treasure chest filled with goodies ready for them to discover!)
Dr. Jenny Tsui
Doctor of Optometry, Della Optique