August signifies a lot of things such as summer and the start of school in many states. But for us in the ophthalmology community, August is Children's Eye Safety Month. Healthy eyesight and general eye health starts at an early age, which is why it is so important to raise awareness about children's eye care.
As you are gearing up to send your kids back to school, or if they are just completing their first few weeks, it is important to be aware of different issues that may affect your child's vision and perhaps consequently their success in class.
First and foremost, starting out the school year with a comprehensive eye exam is a great way to spot any potential issues that may exist that can hinder learning in the classroom if left uncorrected. It is recommended that children as young as three start receiving regular eye exams. An eye exam can pinpoint vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and other conditions such as the following:
- Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)
- Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)
- Ptosis (Drooping of the Eyelid)
- Color Deficiency (Color Blindness)
Second, if your child is participating in any active extracurricular activities, make sure that the proper eye safety equipment is used. Ensuring proper safety procedures are followed will help keep your child's eyes safe and healthy even in the most extreme circumstances.
Lastly, if you think that your child may be having vision problems, there are a few signs that you can be on the look out for in order to catch issues early. If you notice any of the following, contact your eye doctor:
- Wandering or Crossed Eyes
- Disinterest in Reading
- Difficulty or Disinterest in Viewing Distant Objects
- A Family History of Childhood Vision Problems
Take measures now to make sure that your child has the best school year possible by staying aware as well as investing early in quality eye care.