August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

It’s almost back-to-school time and you’re prepared with your child’s enrollment forms, orientation schedules, and immunizations–but what about their eyes?

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month—a great signal for you to get your child’s eyes checked before school starts.

Most children have healthy eyes. But there are conditions that can threaten good vision. Because you can’t always “look” into your child’s eyes to tell if they have eye health problems, set up some time today for an eye exam:

  • Your child’s eyes should be examined during regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted around age three.
  • Parents should be aware of signs that may indicate their child has vision problems, including:
    • Wandering or crossed eyes
    • A family history of childhood vision problems
    • Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
    • Squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television

Talk to your child’s pediatrician if you suspect your child has any of the eye diseases below:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
  • Color deficiency (color blindness)
  • Refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism)

Let’s Talk Eye Safety:

Use this month to discuss the importance of eye safety with your children.

More than 12 million children suffer from vision impairment, and eye injuries are one of the leading causes of vision loss in children*. There are an estimated 42,000 sports-related eye injuries each year and the majority of them happen to children.

Children should:

  • Wear protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities
  • Play with are age-appropriate toys. Avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts

One of the best ways to ensure your child keeps his/her good vision throughout life is to set a good health example.

To find more information about Children’s Eye Health and Safety, visit:

www.preventblindness.org
www.aao.org

*Nearly 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. Of children ages 3 to 5, close to one in 20 has a problem that could result in permanent vision loss if left untreated. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 80 percent of preschoolers do not receive vision screenings.

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