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No more defective eyesight! Going outdoors during holidays to safeguard your sight

發布單位:發布單位:婦幼健康組

  • 瀏覽數:瀏覽數:1259
  • 修改日:修改日:2018/02/13
  • 發布日:發布日:2017/02/13

According to the survey conducted by the Health Promotion Administration, major reasons for causing myopia amongst children are eye strain (overuse) and lack of outdoor activities. Children tend to use electronic devices longer on weekends and holidays than weekdays or school days. Moreover, using electronic devices too close to their eyes can result in worsening myopia.

 

Children with myopia are less outdoors and spend longer hours overstraining their eyes

  According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, in 2015, grade one students with defective eyesight (including myopia, astigmatism, and amblyopia) was 26.1%, grade six students with defective eyesight was 63.9%, and first year junior high school students with defective eyesight was 69%. Furthermore, according to the 2013 National Health Interview Survey, the occurrence of myopia diagnosed by physicians was 7.3% for ages 2 to 6 and 48.8% for ages 7 to 11. For the average of amount of time spent on television, computers, internet, games, and reading, children ages 2 to 6 spend 2.5 hours per day on weekdays and 3.5 hours on weekends and holidays, whereas children ages 7 to 11 spend 2.4 hours per day on weekdays and as high as 5.2 hours on weekends and holidays. In retrospect, only a quarter of children ages 2 to 6 and a fifth of children ages 7 to 11 engage in outdoor activities. Comparing children with myopia to those without or not yet diagnosed with myopia, children with myopia have less frequent outdoor activities, with longer periods of studying and cram school activities.

  Evidence showed that engaging in at least 11 hours of outdoor activities every week can reduce the incidence and worsening of myopia. It is recommended to protect your eyesight through 2 to 3 hours of outdoor activities every day. During the winter holidays and Chinese New Year, parents could organize family outings and bring their children to the outdoors, preventing overstraining their eyes from using different kinds of electronic devices. Not letting electronic devices accompany your children this Chinese New Year is the first step to prevent myopia and worsening of eyesight.

 

Myopia is a disease and high degree myopia can result in loss of eyesight

  The Health Promotion Administration reminds the public that myopia cannot be recovered. The younger one develops myopia, the faster one’s eyesight worsens. Once the myopia exceeds -6.0D, one can develop early cataract, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and macular degeneration that could lead to eventual loss of eyesight. If parents find their children squinting, rubbing their eyes, or reading and watching something closely, it is advised to take the children to the Ophthalmologist for further examinations. Early detection allows for early remediation and prevents worsening of eyesight.

 

“Two don’ts and three do’s” against defective eyesight
  Comparing children with myopia to those without or not yet diagnosed with myopia, children with myopia have less frequent outdoor activities, with longer periods of studying and cram school activities. In order to prevent myopia and effectively control the severity of nearsightedness among children, the HPA advises the two don’ts and three do’s:

  Don’t 1: do not allow screen time for children before the age of 2

  Don’t 2: do not allow more than one hour of screen time for children over the age of 2

  Do 1: Maintain 35cm to 40cm of distance for reading books

  Do 2: Ensure 10 minutes of rest after every 30 minutes of eye usage

  Do 3: Engage in outdoor activities for 2 to 3 hours every day

 

Head outdoors with your children to prevent myopia
  Children are the treasures of every parent. Good eyesight brings about better learning. The Health Promotion Administration advises parents to keep children away from the risk factors of myopia. Comforting children with smartphones and tablets may lead to early onset of myopia or worsening of eyesight. Parents are also advised to be aware of their own visual health and setting an example by putting down electronic devices and spending more time outdoors with their children. Outdoor activities will not only improve family bonding but also enhance their physical fitness. Fight defective eyesight this winter holidays in preparation for the upcoming semester.

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