Children are back at school now and even if they seem like they’re getting along just fine, they could actually need glasses without realising it.

Eye health in children is important for their academic success and overall development.

As children get older, their visual demands increase especially in an academic environment including the print size in textbooks getting smaller.

Time spent reading and studying also increases and this could lead to constant eye strain.

Newham Recorder: It's important to keep a child's eye health in good conditionIt's important to keep a child's eye health in good condition (Image: Getty Images)

Comprehensive eye tests are important and without them many vision disorders may go undetected or even be misdiagnosed as ADHD, dyslexia, behavioural issues, or a learning disability. 

That’s why Tina Patel, an optician at Feel Good Contacts, has shared five signs to look out for that children could need glasses.

5 signs a child may need glasses

A child may need glasses if they have to sit very close to the TV or hold books close to their face.

They might also excessively squint or they could suffer with headaches.

If children complain of sore eyes, this could also be an indication that they might need to start wearing glasses.

3 tips for encouraging good eye health in children

Balanced diet

A healthy and balanced diet is one way to help maintain your child’s good eye health.

In particular, foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants are beneficial for eye health.

The optician says you should encourage your child to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens, nuts and oily fish.

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Limit screen time

Screens are all around us and are for a variety of things but limiting your child’s screen time is important for their eye health.

Try to encourage regular breaks, outdoor play and non-screen hobbies.

However, if screen use is unavoidable, you should make sure the device is at a safe distance from their eyes and that the lighting is adequate.

The 20-20-20 rule

To help reduce eye strain from prolonged screen use, teach your child the 20-20-20 rule.

Every 20 minutes, they should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds which will give their eyes a much-needed break and help to reduce strain.

Free eye tests are available on the NHS for children under the age of 16.