August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month across the nation and at Illinois Eye Center. As summer winds down and kids get ready to go back to school, August is a great month to focus on the eye health and safety of children.
Healthy vision helps prepare children for school by improving their ability to learn – being able to see the teacher, whiteboard, computer screens and information presented in other visual formats helps children absorb information. Healthy vision also helps children do well in physical activities and reach motor developmental milestones. Achieving healthy eyesight requires vision screening and eye care from a professional eye doctor with experience in treating children.
August is the Perfect Time for Eye Screening before School
Vision screening exams can help your family eye doctor detect and treat a number of refractive conditions that can interfere with your child’s vision, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and blurred vision (astigmatism), before your child starts school for the year. Your child’s eye doctor can also screen for a wide variety of other eye conditions, such as:
- Lazy eye (amblyopia)
- Drooping of the eyelid (ptosis)
- Crossed eyes (strabismus)
- Color blindness (color deficiency)
If any of the above eye conditions are found on an exam, your child may need to be referred to a pediatric ophthalmologist for more testing and treatment.
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is a Great Time to Learn about Vision
National health observances provide fantastic opportunities to learn about specific health issues that may affect your family. This makes August an excellent time to learn about specific warning signs that may indicate that your child has a vision problem. These warning signs may include:
- A family history of vision problems during childhood
- Crossed eyes
- Wandering eye
- Squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television
- Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month creates an opportunity to learn about keeping your child’s eyes safe. Unfortunately, eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children. About 42,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year in the United States, and most of these injuries occur in children.
To keep your child’s eyes safe, start developing good safety habits this August. These eye safety habits may include:
- Protective eyewear while participating in recreational activities or sports
- Purchasing only age-appropriate toys and avoiding toys with sharp or protruding parts
Help your children have a successful school year in the classroom and on the sports field by taking advantage of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Our optometrists at Illinois Eye Center look forward to helping your children succeed through eye screening and care this August.