Playing outdoors improves children’s eyesight and reduces the risk of shortsightedness (myopia) – a condition that has been on the increase in Australian children for a number of years.
A research project by Queensland University of Technology says that encouraging children out of the house and away from the ‘screens’ lowers the risk of that child developing nearsightedness (or myopia).
What is myopia?
Myopia is the technical name for short-sightedness – a defect in vision that comes about when your eyes can’t focus light from distant objects correctly onto the back of your retina, the light-sensitive part of the back of the eye.
You can focus on close objects clearly, but distant objects are blurred. The focal point of the lens falls in front of the retina (or to put it another way, the axis of the eyeball is too long), and you have to wear corrective lenses to focus the image correctly on the retina (ref: ABC).
What’s the answer?
It seems that one thing parents can do is encourage their children to play outside more, and become more exposed to natural sunlight. This is particularly important for children that grow up in apartments and high rise buildings that have no backyards.
This research is supported by the Healthy Parks Healthy People report which looks at the ongoing physical and mental health benefits of spending more time outdoors and in parks and public spaces.
But what to do outside…
The Healthy Kids website has an enormous number of ideas and Centennial Parklands is perfectly placed to help with this challenge.
There is certainly no excuse at not getting outdoors in Centennial Parklands. Besides, it’s good for your child’s eyesight!