So much of what a child learns is based on what they see, so much so that 80% of the material taught in the classroom is delivered in a visual manner. In fact, a child’s vision not only impacts their academics, but their athletic performance, personality, and attitude towards school. Therefore, as kids start heading back to school as early as July, it is no surprise that August was declared Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month.
Because your children are still growing, being attentive about their eye health is important. The earlier that vision problems are identified, the sooner they can be addressed. Below are four tips we recommend to maintain your child’s overall eye heath:
- Get regular childhood eye exams– Children’s eyes change quickly, so scheduling regular comprehensive eye exams is an important part of detecting and correcting eye problems early. In addition to eye exams for infants, we recommend further exams for children when they are:
• Pre-school age (Between ages 3 and 3 ½)
• Starting a new school year
• Experiencing a possible vision problem
Remember that vision screenings performed at your child’s school should NOT be a replacement for a comprehensive eye exam administered by an eye doctor. While these screenings may be able to detect possible vision problems in your child, they fail to check for various other factors that can impact your child’s overall eye health such as possible eye diseases.
2. Know and share your family eye health history –Parents should share any and all information regarding the history of their family’s eye health with their child’s eye doctor. Some examples of common eye conditions include nearsightedness, crossed eye (strabismus), and lazy eye (amblyopia).
3. Watch for signals of eye problems – Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as:
- Complaints of tired eyes
- Squinting when reading or performing other common activities
- Turning of the head in order to see or read
- Eye Rubbing
- Eyes that do not track in sync together
4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports – Eye injuries while playing sports are not only common for young children, but they can also cause serious damage to your child’s eyes. If your child plays racket sports, hockey, field hockey, baseball, or basketball consider having them wear sport goggles or other certified protective eyewear.