As many as 1 in 10 children already suffer from vision problems significant enough to impact learning and hand-eye coordination. So, to help prevent the long-term consequences of impaired vision, Versant Health shares three things parents should keep in mind for their young golfers.

Spend time out in the sun

Sunlight can be good for you in a variety of ways. Beyond getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and time away from screens, spending time out in the sun can actually be good for your child’s vision. Recent research indicates that myopia progression—nearsightedness—in children could be brought on by too little time spent in the sun.

To make sure your child’s eyes develop properly, make sure they spend at least an hour playing outside a day. Helping them practice their swing or tagging along with you at the golf course are some great ways to help your kids discover a love of the game and sets your child up for good, long-term eye health.

Create a healthy routine

Parents can serve as children’s first line of defense against vision damage. Create a routine with your child to make sure they establish good eye-health habits. Make sure your little golfers aren’t straining their eyes with too much screen time. Limit their digital activity to just 20 minutes at a time, breaking up their screen time by engaging in eye exercises and outdoor play. When they do go outside, let them pick their favorite hat or sunglasses to wear during playtime to protect their eyes from UV rays. Model good behavior as a family by wearing sunglasses and hats yourself.

Watch for the signs

Because early detection and treatment represent the best chance to prevent permanent vision loss and correct problems, annual eye exams can help protect against the long-term impacts of impaired vision. However, although around 80% of classroom learning is visual, fewer than 15% of preschool children receive an eye exam by a professional, according to the American Optometric Association.

Sometimes, your little golfer doesn’t realize that their eyes are bothering them until they become a problem, but you can be on the lookout for the telltale signs of vision issues and help advocate for an eye exam.

If you notice your child rubbing their eyes, having difficulty reading, light-sensitivity, chronic redness, acting out to avoid school or reading, or inattentiveness try ruling out vision issues by taking them to have an eye exam.

Vision significantly influences children’s academic, social and athletic performance. To protect their children’s sight and quality of life, parents should be on the lookout for warning signs, keep up with annual eye exams and take proactive lifestyle steps to prevent vision damage. By encouraging heathy vision practices, parents can help to set their children up for success in the classroom and on the course.