The Cleveland Clinic

Protecting Your Child's Eyes and Sight

There are many things you can do to keep your child's eyes healthy and seeing clearly from birth through the teen years.

How Can I Help My Child Develop Good Eyesight?

  • Place toys within focus of your baby"s eyes, only 8-12 inches away.
  • Encourage your baby to crawl. This helps develop eye-hand coordination.
  • Talk to baby as you move around the room to encourage his or her eyes to follow you.
  • Hang a mobile above or outside of your baby's crib.
  • Give your baby toys to hold and look at.

Make sure your baby is following moving objects with his or her eyes and developing eye-hand coordination. If he or she seems delayed, talk to your child's doctor.

As your baby grows into an active child, continue to encourage good eyesight by providing visually stimulating toys that will improve motor and eye-hand coordination skills. Some good examples are:

  • Building or linking blocks
  • Puzzles
  • Stringing beads
  • Pegboards
  • Drawing tools like pencils, chalk, crayons, and markers
  • Finger paints
  • Modeling clay
What Can I Do to Protect My Child's Sight?
  • Eat right both during pregnancy and after. Your baby will be healthier and you will set a good example.
  • Provide nutritious, well-balance meals for your child that include 400 mcg of vitamin A for children from birth to three years, 500mcg of vitamin A for children from four to six years, and 700-800 mcg of vitamin A for children seven to ten years.
  • Provide your child with age-appropriate toys that are free from sharp edges.
  • Give your child toys that encourage visual development.
  • Provide sun protection for you child when outdoors by means of shelter or UV coated lenses, especially if your child's eyes are light in color.
  • Encourage your child to wear the proper protective athletic gear when playing sports.
  • Get your child's eyes examined by an eye doctor regularly.

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