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Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness Know the Problems

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As the kiddies are heading back to school or have already, don’t forget to have their eyes checked. It’s good to start doing this around the age of three. Children’s eye health and safety month is August.

It’s that time to make an appointment for the kids’ comprehensive eye exam. Having that school eye screening is not enough. This should be at the top of your list. In addition to all the shopping for school supplies and back to school clothes.

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What is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month?

It takes place the month of August to raise awareness. Prevent Blindness has many activities planned. (The Wisconsin branch)

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The National Eye Institute is offering kid-friendly resources to encourage children to learn about their eye health. You can find fun stuff along with a printable like See All You Can See Activity Book. Plus Ask a scientist video series has questions like do fish have eyelids?

Your eyes are one of your sense organs. Most of your information as a human is received through your vision. Furthermore the best way to identify and prevent pediatric eye problems is routine eye care and regular eye checkups.

If your child is having problems with vision or irritation in the eyes it is time for a doctor visit. In short kids rarely mention problems with their vision it is best to create a routine to check vision out.

Why an Eye Check?

Eye checks for the little ones can be conveniently done during a well-check visit. The eye doctor for your child can peek at any refractive errors.

  1.  For example these could be:

    • Nearsightedness
    • Farsightedness
    • Astigmatism
  1. Along with the following eye diseases:

    • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
    • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
    • Ptosis (eyelid droops)
    • Color deficiency (color blindness)

Having a Vision Problem

Lacking or not having proper function of visual skills can cause your child to work harder to effectively learn. As your child is not able to clearly see the whiteboard and focus on the information. To sum things up most of the content is visual.

Along with these days kids spent so much time on devices. This is causing an adverse effect on their eye health. As a result more and more children are requiring glasses.

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  1. Kids struggling with a learning related vision issue could experience:

    • Headaches
    • Eye strain
    • Fatigue

If either you or the doctor thinks your child may have a vision problem this should be followed up. Other test can be performed. That is to say a vision problem could be indicated by certain warning signs.

  1. Signs of a Vision Problem

    • Wandering or crossed eyes
    • No interest in reading or watching distant activities
    • When watching TV the child may squint or turn head to view
    • Frequent rubbing eyes or blinking
    • Short attention span
    • Covering one eye
    • Tilting head to one side
    • Bringing materials close to face when reading
    • Eye turns in or out
    • Double vision
    • Loss of place during reading
    • Hard time remembering what was read

Eye Injuries

As well as keeping your child’s eyes safe having regular eye exams supports maintaining their healthy vision. The main cause for vision loss of children is eye injuries. Therefore many of these eye injuries are often sports related every year in the United States.

Vision Skills for Learning

Vision is more than just being able to see things. There are visual skills. Furthermore this takes the ability to understand and respond to what you see.

Visual Acuity

Your child needs to be able to clearly see the chalkboard from a distance. Secondly an intermediate distance for the computer. As well as seeing information up close as in reading a book.

Focusing

Focusing to quickly and correctly keep the vision clear while objects change from a distance like viewing the chalkboard and their paper on the desk and back. Moreover focusing will offer the child this skill to maintain clear vision with age such as reading a book or writing an essay.

Eye Teaming

The coordination like using both eyes at the same time while moving along a printed page. In addition to be able to judge distances along with depth for classwork and sports.

Eye Hand Coordination

Information collected visually must be monitored and directed to the hands. For instance when drawing a picture or trying to hit a baseball.

Visual Perception

Collecting images off a printed page then interpreting these into letters, words and ideas. Along with understanding and remembering what you read.

Additional Visual Skills

Recognition

Recognizing letters such as “b” and “d” are different.

Comprehension

The child being able to picture in its mind what is going on in the story that  is read.

Retention

To remember as well as recall details of information that was read.

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Children’s Eye Health Good Habits

Stay Hydrated

Since water is required for the eyes’ cleansing process encourage your youngster to drink four full glasses of “water” daily. Of course adequate amounts depend on age, your child’s activities and the climate conditions where you live.

Eat Right

A well balanced diet consisting of fresh green leafy veggies plus fruit keeps vision healthy. Don’t forget those carrots. In addition add omega-3s from fish.

Say no to Smoking

Good Nights Sleep

Wear PPE

Sun Protection

Smoking can damage your skin along with your eyes. It has been connected to increased risk for many vision threatening eye diseases. Most importantly it’s just a very bad habit.

Getting enough sleep supports good eye health. While your child sleeps the body is rejuvenated and the eyes relax. So encouraging the kids to set a regular sleeping routine will ensure adequate sleep.

Personal protective eyewear is necessary when involved in sports or other activities that could cause eye injury. This is also required around power tools and using chemicals. So shield those peepers.

For your eyes wear your shades, sunglasses that is. To avoid sunburn (yes) and damage to your eyes don 100% UV blocking sunglasses. Also required for outdoors you might add a sporty hat with a brim. Most importantly never eye the sun directly.

Wearing Eye Glasses

Being kids they may not be cautious of eyewear. Remind them not to remove them while reading. On the other hand require them to remove glasses and wear appropriate eye wear for sports activities.

Know Your Eyes

Kiddies if your eyes hurt and you’re seeing blurs, spots or doubles let someone know. These changes should always be checked out. In conclusion for the health of your eyes have your doctor look at them.

Avoid Rubbing

Above all don’t rub your eye if you feel something is in it. Rubbing could make things worse or cause a scratch on your eyeball. Instead inquire the assistance from an adult to flush the foreign body out of your eye.

Take an Eye Break

In our modern times with our devices it is easy to cause eye strain. Check that your child is taking enough breaks from cell phone, tablet or computer. In short this is done to prevent eye strain.

There is the 20/20/20 rule; every 20 minutes on the device, view something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Keep a Distance

Moms encourage your child to use good posture (avoid tech neck) and distance when viewing devices. Thus the Harmon distance (chin to elbow) measurement is comfortable.

Create Eye Safe Habits

You’ve probably heard this before, don’t run around with scissors. Furthermore point sharp objects such as scissors, protractors or pencils down.

Never throw objects (like toys) as well as spray things in the direction of someone’s head. In addition while using sprays point these away from your eyes.

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Keep Things Clean

Don’t touch your eyes with filthy hands. Follow instructions from your eye doctor with proper contact lens hygiene. If you wear makeup replace every 3 months or so. Most importantly don’t share products with others.

Moms you can teach your children these basic eye care and safety habits. Kids should learn the importance of caring for their precious eye sight. Therefore as a parent set a good example, encourage and remind your youngsters to follow these tips.

And remember to go for regular vision checks. School eye screenings and those done at your pediatrician’s office are not the same eye exams per say. The one in their school only looks for visual acuity.

Wrapping it up

Our eyes are an important sense organ as most of our information is collected visually. During this Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month teach the little ones about this precious ability. Subsequently get them involved in their eye health.

Having a vision problem is not the end of the world. Really cool glasses may be a new fashion accessory for your child this school year. As long as your kid’s vision remains healthy is the main thing.

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Mary

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fifteen years.

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