Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Kids getting on school busAugust is the new September! Schools in the United States are starting the academic year earlier and earlier. While the month of August typically consists of annual back-to-school shopping, it is also the perfect time to make a comprehensive eye exam appointment for your child. It just so happens that August is also designated as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month!

Make your child’s sight a priority. Studies show that 80% of what children learn is acquired through visual processing. The risk of a child failing a grade is more than three times higher for children who have less than 20/20 vision.

Here are some signs to look out for that suggests your child may have a vision problem:
  • Failed school screening
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
  • Frequent headaches and eyestrain
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Inability to track and follow moving objects
  • Holding reading materials close to the face
  • An eye turning in or out (eye misalignment)
  • Seeing double
  • Difficulty focusing on homework
  • Losing their place when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what he or she read
  • Squinting when watching television
How can you help protect your child’s optometric health?

Limit Screen Time – Prolonged exposure to cellphones, iPads, computers and other electronic devices can cause eye strain among children and lead to long-lasting damage to their vision.

Choose the Right Toy – The organization, Prevent Blindness America, states that children incur approximately 11,000 toy-related eye injuries each year, with the injuries ranging from mild corneal abrasions to more serious ones such as traumatic cataracts, corneal ulcers, and even retinal tears or detachments. To prevent these injuries they recommend parents make sure the toy is age appropriate for their child, and avoid toys with pieces that are sharp, fly or launch out.

Child Getting Eye Exam
Protective Eye Wear – Whether sunglasses or sports goggles, make sure your children are always wearing proper protective eyewear when partaking in sports and outdoor activities.

Schedule Regular Vision Screenings and Eye Examinations – The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends children have eye examinations as early as six months old, one to two years old, three to five years old, and then annually once the child reaches the age of six years old. It is important to catch vision problems as early as possible to minimize complications.

According to the AOA, vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and are the most prevalent handicapping conditions that occur during childhood.

Schedule an appointment with The Eye Institute here or call 215.276.6111