August Is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Summer is arguably one of the best seasons, owing to the warm weather and great summer activities children and adults engage in. However, summer has to come to an end in August and children must go back to school soon after. Therefore, it is common to find parents rushing to gather the supplies their children need for school and taking them to doctor’s appointments for checkups in August.


August is Children’s Eye Health Month, which serves as a reminder to make sure your child has the greatest vision possible for the upcoming school year. It is therefore critical that, as you buy school supplies for the new school year, you remember to take your child for an eye exam. Good vision has a big impact on how successful a child’s school year will be.


It is recommended that parents take their children for eye screening during pediatric visits from the age of three. This will help detect problems such as nearsightedness, color blindness, farsightedness, and astigmatism early. The screening can also be used to detect the following conditions:



Amblyopia (Lazy Eye)



This is a condition where one eye experiences a decrease in vision due to its abnormal development during infancy or early childhood. This condition is evident where there is an activation problem in the nerve pathways connecting the eye to the brain. As a result, the brain favors one eye over the other, leading to poor vision. Eyeglasses, eye patches, eye drops, and in some cases, surgery can treat the condition.



Ptosis (Drooping of the Eyelid)



For this condition, an individual experiences a problem with a nerve or muscle in the eyelid. Here, the upper eyelid droops low to cover part of the eye. In severe cases, the drooping prevents light from reaching the affected eye. Doctors can correct this problem using eyelid lift surgery.



Strabismus (Crossed Eyes)



This is a common condition among kids six years and below. It is a disorder where the eyes do not correctly line up. You will notice this condition in an individual where one of the eyes appears to look in a different direction from the other. Doctors can treat this condition using eyeglasses or surgery.
 

Other signs that could show that your child has a problem with vision include:
 

  • Disinterest in reading or seeing far objects.
     

  • If your child reports blurry vision.
     

  • Holding a book too close.
     

  • Frequent rubbing of eyes.
     

  • High sensitivity to light.
     

  • Squinting or tilting their head unusually while watching TV.
     

  • Wandering eyes.
     

  • Focus issues.
     



Eye Safety



Parents can do the following to help keep their children’s eyes safe: 
 

  • All children should wear the proper protective eyewear when participating in recreational or sporting activities. 
     

  • Purchase age-appropriate toys for kids, particularly those that do not have any sharp or protruding corners that could harm the child.
     

  • Provide care and supervision while your children handle items such as pencils, paper clips, scissors, and rubber bands as they can cause serious eye injury.
     

  • Due to the pandemic, online learning is the new norm. Ensure to regulate your child’s screen time. You can also get your child protective eyewear to prevent eyestrain as they work on the computer. Additionally, seek help from an eye specialist if a child complains of burning, itchy and tired eyes, constant headaches, fatigue, head and neck pain, and dry irritated eyes.


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For more information on children’s eye health and safety, visit Omaha Primary Eye Care at our office in Omaha, Nebraska. You can also call 402-383-0780 to book an appointment today.