Happy Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month! August has quickly arrived, meaning summer is coming to an end and a new school year is about to begin. With the new school year around the corner, parents are busy with buying school supplies, their children’s enrollment forms, orientation and physical examinations. As part of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, Vision For Life urges you to add a vision examination to the top of your back-to-school checklist.
Making your child’s vision a priority will help ensure a fun-filled, successful school year. It is estimated that 80 percent of a child’s learning is processed visually. This means the inability to process vision correctly can dramatically affect your child’s grades and overall school performance. Vision also plays a crucial role in your child’s physical and social development.
Common signs of vision problems in children include:
- Frequently rubbing eyes
- Closing or covering one eye
- Tilting head or thrusting head forward
- Having trouble reading, reduced comprehension, or skipping words and lines
- Blinking more than usual during near work
- Squinting eyes
- Poor attention span for near work or homework taking an excessively long time
If your child displays any of these symptoms or you have a family history of vision problems, please schedule an appointment for an eye examination. Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (crossed eyes), Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid), color deficiency (color blindness) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism) are the most common vision problems among children. Many of these conditions can be treated, and the earlier they are diagnosed, the more effective the treatment.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 80 percent of preschoolers do not receive vision screenings. Your child’s eyes and vision should be examined beginning at six months of age, then again at age three and yearly while they are in school. If a child’s vision problem is left untreated, it could result in permanent vision loss or even blindness. Why wait to get an exam when the consequences could be severe?
Now, let’s talk eye safety.
We encourage parents during the month of August to discuss the importance of eye safety with their children; however, practicing eye safety habits is important all year long. Everyone knows children spend a big part of their day playing, whether its outdoor sports or video games, their eyes are always being put at risk. Your child’s vision is in your hands, and you can protect their eyes by taking the proper precautions. Proper protective eyewear to be worn during sports can be bought at independent eye care locations. It’s also important to set time limits for kids while playing video games. At Vision For Life, we encourage 30 minutes of play, followed by a visual break and no longer than 2 hours TOTAL on video games in a given day. Near work specific glasses are encouraged for video games and reading.
We all know that accidents happen. If your child injures their eye, it is important to follow these steps:
- Do not allow the child to rub or touch his or her eye.
- Do not apply any kind of medication to the eye.
- Do not attempt to remove any debris from the eye on your own.
- If a chemical got into your child’s eye, flush the eye with water.
- A medical professional should assess all eye injuries; therefore, seek medical attention immediately.
We here at Vision For Life want children to be healthy all year round. If you want to set your child up for success this school year, set up an appointment for your child’s yearly vision examination. Give us a call today at 618-288-1489. Let us help keep your child both happy and healthy. It is time to start taking your child’s eye health and safety seriously all year long. You can visit us online at http://www.visionforlifeworks.com or you can also find us on Facebook.