According to medics, short-sightedness has more than doubled in Britain in the last 50 years, but scientists have come up with one simple trip to help reduce your little one’s risk of developing it.
The Northern Ireland Childhood Errors of Refraction (NICER) study has discovered that playing outside for just one hour a day can reduce your child’s risk of becoming short-sighted.
According to the results, which looked at more than 1,000 children over six years, youngsters who have more physical exercise show lower rates of the eye condition than those who stayed indoors.
While the risks of your child developing the condition increases if one of their parents has it, Professor Kathryn Saunders, who carried out the research with her team in Ulster University, found that the increase is “too rapid” to be down to just genetics.
"People have been looking at environmental factors and at the moment they are focused on how much time children are spending outdoors. There is some evidence that just an hour extra spent outdoors every day can protect children from developing myopia,” she explained to The Mirror.
Citing the effect natural light has on the eye, Professor Saunders said that vitamin D can help to lower the risk, something that the body develops from the sun.
"It could ultimately enable us to inform how optometrists practice and give advice to parents to help them protect their children's eyesight. This could include having recommended ages for eyesight testing or teaching them the specific risk factors that should indicate a sight test is needed,” she added.