Memoirs of a Forgotten Swing

Aah, those golden days!

How I wish they would come back!

The days before cell phones, computers and video games had lured kids to lock themselves up in their rooms.

The days when kids would scream with delight as the wind caressed their hair while they swung up high.

The days when kids actually came out to play…

It always warms my heart to hear a mother tell her child to come out and play. It wasn’t simply that people said, ‘All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy’. Well, Jack would be pleased to know that not only did the play make him smart; it also saved him from glasses. At least that is what researchers from Sydney say.

Researchers from University of Sydney examined more than 2000 children and published their study in the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Information was gathered on their ethnicity, hours spent outdoors on activities like cycling, walking or outdoor picnics and near-sighted activities like television and computer use. These kids were followed up for 5 years to see how many developed a need for glasses in childhood.

This recently published study showed that children who spent more time outdoors have less chances of developing myopia or near-sightedness. The study also found that children who had one/both myopic parents had higher chances of developing near sightedness. Time spent outdoors alleviated eye problems in children belonging to this group also. This will come as a relief to all kids… the study could not establish any effect between myopia in children and computer use / television watching.

Doctors suggest that exposure to sunlight at a young age helps promote normal development of the eyeball and thus prevents the eyeball from growing too fast or growing into an oval shape instead of round due to over-expansion. (This abnormal shape commonly leads to myopia in children). Hence, these researchers advocate that children spend at least 10 hours in the sunshine every week to prevent eye problems in children.

So, kids, do come down to play with me once in a while. I may not be as fancy looking as your gizmos, but I’m sure you will have a great time all the same. And it’s also what the doctor called for!

If you are a myopic parent and wish to rule out myopia in children, or require glasses for children, do take an appointment with our Pediatric Ophthalmologist at Advanced Eye Hospital, Navi Mumbai.

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