8 Expert Tips To Prevent Eye Problems in Children.

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8 Expert Tips To Prevent Eye Problems in Children. | How Parents Can Prevent Eye Problems in Children? A Guide to Protect Your Child’s Eye Health from All Things Health Malaysia.

Every parent wants their children to have that perfect 20/20 vision. Keeping your children’s eyes healthy allows them to develop to their fullest potential.

How to Care for Children’s Eye Health

From style to myopia, children are susceptible to many eye problems. All Things Health Malaysia helps parents to properly take care of their children’s vision.

A smiling seven-month-old infant with big dark brown eyes and black hair.
Eye problems can occur at any age, especially during your baby’s first year. 

From their first cry as newborns to their first wobbly steps, our children have surpassed many milestones. As babies grow, they look around to gather all the information needed for their brain development. Any unattended eye problems can hinder their ability to learn. 

This is why eye care is essential during the early stage of our children’s lives, as asserted by All Things Health Malaysia.

Launched in 2021, All Things Health Malaysia is a local health and wellness content hub that instils Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective as a natural solution for one’s well-being. As parents can learn to be proactive in taking better care of our children’s health — inside and out — with a mindful approach.

So, what signs should we look out for and how can we address vision problems in children as soon as possible?

Most Common Signs of Eye Problems

At birth, the baby’s eyes are still very sensitive and not fully developed. But significant improvements occur during the first 24 months of life. Their vision development will progress along with their motor skills. 

However, in rare cases, eye problems may develop along the way. Parents need to look out for the following eye conditions:
  • Watery eyes: may indicate a blockage in the tear ducts;
  • Swollen, reddened eyelids with yellow pus: may be a sign of a blockage in the glands of the eyelids;
  • Red or scaly eyelids: can be a sign of skin infection that looks like an acne/pimple;
  • Droopy eyelids: a possible genetic condition that can obstruct vision;
  • Misaligned eyes: may signal a problem with the eye muscle control;
  • Extreme sensitivity to light: may indicate high pressure in the eye; and
  • White spots in the pupil: may indicate eye cancer.

All Things Health Malaysia explains that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) attributes eye problems in babies and children to certain external environments. For example, too much heat in the body can cause swollen, reddened eyes. On the contrary, wind can cause watery eyes, and dampness can increase eye discharge. 

How Traditional Chinese Medicine Maintains Eye Health

Physician Lim Sock Ling, a TCM expert featured in All Things Health Malaysia, says that environmental factors and pathogens can result in eye diseases. Personal hygiene and diet are also crucial in maintaining proper eye health. 

“Children tend to be picky with their food. This may cause an accumulation of heat in the digestive system. Also, they may not have cleaned their hands before touching their eyes,” says Physician Lim.

It’s another challenge for parents to adjust their children’s diet. Ingredients like jujube, goji berries, semen astragali complanati, and nux prinsepiae can help improve overall eye health and even prevent nearsightedness. If you’re looking for an eye vitamin, pick one that contains marigold extract, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

In addition, physician Lim suggests consuming herbs like chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, dendrobium, flos buddlejae, and semen celosiae to relieve dry, red or swollen eyes. Most importantly, physician Lim advises to “seek treatment early if your child experiences any eye condition as 0-6 years old are a critical period in vision development.”

Steps to Help Children’s Vision Development

A cute 6-month-old baby playing with a colourful toy arch that can prevent future eye problems.
Playing with colourful toys that your baby can interact with will help develop their eyesight.

Yes, parents should always pay attention to their children’s eyes. But, we can also engage them in fun activities to support their vision development and prevent future eye problems.

For babies aged 0 to 4 months

Train their eyes with new surroundings. You can put on a nightlight, regularly change the crib's position, and alternate left and right sides when feeding.

For babies aged 5 to 8 months

Now that their visual acuity begins to improve, let them play around with toys like a crib mobile and encourage them to move their hands in response to visual cues.

For babies aged 9 to 12 months

Incorporate word association when interacting with your baby. The goal is to strengthen visual memory. 

For babies aged 1 to 2 years

Colourful toys in different shapes and sizes can help them develop their motor skills. You can also read them bedtime stories to stimulate their ability to visualize (plus, start developing their communication skills!)

Parenting is a never-ending process of learning, observing, and listening. Your child's eye development will go through many changes starting at birth. Especially now that children are constantly surrounded by digital screens. Hence, it’s best to take our children for regular eye exams.

Do you have more questions about health and wellness? Visit All Things Health Malaysia for more related health topics on children’s health, pregnancy, internal health, and many more.


1. American Optometric Association. N.d. Infant Vision: Birth to 24 Months of Age. [online] Available at: < http://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-health-for-life/infant-vision > [Accessed: 28 December 2021]
2. US National Library of Medicine. 2020. Vision Development Differences between Slow and Fast Motor Development in Typical Developing Toddlers: A Cross-Sectional Study. [online] Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7277625/> [Accessed: 28 December 2021]
3. MDPI. 2021. Goji Berry Intake Increases Macular Pigment Optical Density in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Pilot Trial. [online} Available at: <https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4409> [Accessed: 28 December 2021]
4. US National Library of Medicine. 2016. Eye pathologies in neonates. [online] Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5155001/> [Accessed: 28 December 2021]

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