Prevention is better than even the most effective treatment.

Prevention is better than even the most effective treatment.

This is something that is true not only in ophthalmology but throughout medicine.

Prevention, however, when referring to young children, is always the responsibility of parents. It is in the nature of children to be active, curious about their environment and to seek adventure. Rules mean very little to children of an early age and risk assessment is characteristically absent from their awareness.

The first thing parents must do is make the home environment 'child friendly'. Risks should, as far as possible, be limited. Detergents, cleaners and all  hazardous substances must be stored in places a child cannot reach. Sharp objects such as scissors and knives should not be left anywhere, while the doors must always be checked, to see whether the child has come out of the parents’ “zone of influence”.

If the child is engaged in a sport or riding a bicycle he must wear a protective helmet and goggles, especially if there is already a problem with one of his eyes. Such protective equipment is not necessarily inelegant.

There are commercially available a wide variety of designs and colours that encourage the child to wear them with pleasure in activities with other children.