Kids And Nearsightedness

Kids And Nearsightedness. Healthy Living Magazine

Kids And Nearsightedness. Healthy Living Magazine

Adding a daily outdoor activity at school for three years for children can save children from becoming nearsighted too early in life, says a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Myopia (in which one sees better up close than far away) affects 80-90% of high school graduates in areas of South and Southeast Asia. It is increasing in Europe and the Middle East.

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Mingguang He, MD, PhD, of Sun Yat-sen University, in Guangzhou, China assigned one group of children in primary schools to one 40-minute class of outdoor activities added to each school day and parents were encouraged to engage their children in outdoor activities after school, especially during weekends and holidays (intervention schools); or children and parents continued their usual pattern of activity (control schools). The average age of the children was 6.6 years.

The three-year cumulative incidence rate of myopia was 30.4% in the intervention group and 39.5% in the control group. “This is clinically important because small children who develop myopia early are most likely to progress to high myopia, which increases the risk of pathological myopia. Thus a delay in the onset of myopia in young children, who tend to have a higher rate of progression, could provide disproportionate long-term eye health benefits,” the authors write.

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ReferenceHe M, Xiang F, Zeng Y, Mai J, Chen Q, Zhang J, Smith W, Rose K, Morgan IG. Effect of Time Spent Outdoors at School on the Development of Myopia Among Children in China. JAMA, 2015; 314 (11): 1142 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2015.10803
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