First-born children are 10% more likely to be short-sighted

Researchers have discovered that first-born children are more likely to be short-sighted than their younger siblings.

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Researchers have discovered that first-born children are more likely to be short-sighted than their younger siblings.

They found that those who were the first to be born in their family were 10 per cent more likely to suffer from short-sightedness, or myopia, than people who had an older sibling.

And they were 20 per cent more likely to suffer from severe myopia.

The research authors said that parents tend to spend more time overseeing their first child’s education, while subsequent children are given more freedom to play outside and less time staring at books.

This means older siblings tend to do better in exams – but their eyesight also suffers.

The research was carried out by scientists at Cardiff University. They analysed health records from 89,000 British people aged between 40 and 69.

The scientists, led by Dr Jeremy Guggenheim of the Cardiff School of Optometry and Visual Sciences, wrote: ‘Children with an earlier birth do relatively better at school owing to parents investing more time, effort and/or resources in educating children with an earlier birth order.’

They wrote: ‘Greater educational exposure in earlier-born children may expose them to a more myopiagenic environment; for example, more time doing near work and less time spent outdoors.

The research was published in the journal JAMA Opthalmology. RELATED: Scientists reveals teenagers make the best liars because they think faster than grown-ups

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