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Preschool children at Tops Poole have recently visited an opticians in the town centre of Poole.
The children were shown the different machines opticians use to check people eyes, as well as learning what the children can do to look after their own eyes.
The rate of short-sightedness in children has doubled in the past 50 years and new research has found that a large contributor is children not spending enough time outdoors. During the Pre-school years from ages 3 to 6, children will be perfecting the visual skills they will have already developed during the infant and toddler years. It is thought 50% of adults in the UK are estimated to have myopia (short sightedness) and between 30-50% of children, so how can we try to prevent this?
Research shows that going outdoors even for short periods of time has proven to make a difference. Although it is not yet known why daylight is important, some experts believe levels of the brain chemical, dopamine, play a role. The experts’ theory is that light stimulates the release of dopamine in the eyes, potentially minimising excessive growth of the eyeball which can make it harder for the lens to focus on an object; therefore high levels of dopamine in the eyeball have been associated with a lower risk of short-sightedness.
At Tops Day Nurseries, children are always given the opportunity to play outside. Their nurseries operate a ‘free-flow’ system, where children can play outside throughout the day. They also have extra-curricular activities for children to take part in such as Tops Forest School, where children can spend time outdoors learning about nature, through nature. When visiting the opticians, the children were allowed to try on some of the sample glasses, and even got a special goodie bags to take back to the nursery!