Why getting your kids outdoors could save their eyesight

camping tips and advice

Recent articles in Australian media continue to emphasize the need to get our children outdoors.    We are a fat country.  

You only have to look around at your local mall to see that to be true.

Obesity is one major side effect of a sedentary lifestyle and one that captures the media’s attention regularly.

But getting kids outdoors is not always easy – the lure of screens keeps them inside a lot more than they should.   I speak from experience – they sometimes want to go outdoors, but take their iPods with them, which is defeating the whole purpose!     

The photo below seems to be scarily true some days.
get your kids off screens

But did you know that the fear of the sun is increasing the number of children with 
short-sightedness (myopia)?    

In the past decade, myopia has increased by 20%, and is attributed to lack of sun.     

Full details of this study can be found at this site – its quite detailed but really does make you think about how much time your child is spending outdoors (and not necessarily in sporting activities)??

A quote by Ophthalmologist Amanda French

"What we've found is that lack of exposure to the high light intensity outdoors can actually affect children's refractive development and they can become short-sighted,"
"While we're preventing UV damage, we are keeping children inside out of fear."
(reference here)

Of course, it’s imperative that safe sun practices are adhered to, and that includes wearing sunglasses – check out Sun Smart page to get all the details on what sort of sunglasses you and your children need to wear.

But now that we know that lack of sun is causing a problem that is not easily corrected in our children, it does make me think about getting the kids doing more outdoors, and less inside.    I don't want their eyesight to suffer because I didn't make some unpopular calls about putting down the screen, and playing in the yard.

Want to know more reasons to get our kids in the great outdoors?

Read reasons to take your children camping.   The health benefits continue!