Child Eye Care
Children don't really know if their vision is not up to par. School screenings do not test all aspects of vision. A child may seem clumsy or not be very successful with fine motor skills. A student may be challenged with school work or deamed "lazy." Poor vision is not an excuse for your children to struggle. Be sure to have their eyes checked by the time they are 3 years old, or sooner if you perceive a problem or have a family history of poor vision.
You want a good education for your child. That means good schools, good teachers, and good vision. That's right: good vision. Your school-age child's eyes are constantly in use in the classroom and at play. So when his or her vision is not functioning properly, learning and participation in recreational activities will suffer. There are things, however, that you can do to be certain your child's vision is ready for school each year and to relieve the visual stress of schoolwork.
Be Alert for Symptoms
Be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a vision or visual processing problem.
Note whether your child frequently:
- Loses his or her place while reading
- Turns or tilts head to use one eye only
- Avoids close work
- Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
- Holds reading material closer than normal
- Uses finger to maintain place while reading
- Tends to rub eyes
- Omits or confuses small words when reading
- Has headaches
- Performs below potential
Seek Thorough Optometric Care
Because vision changes can occur without you or your child realizing it, have your child's vision examined at least every two years or as recommended by your doctor of optometry.
The examination should include:
- A review of your child's health and vision history
- Tests for visual acuity, refractive errors, nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, crossed eyes, eye coordination, focusing ability, eye movement control, depth perception, and color vision
- A comprehensive eye health examination
Homework, Computers, and TV
Make sure your child's homework area is evenly lighted and free from glare. Furniture should be the right size for proper posture. During periods of close concentration, have your child take periodic breaks to rest his or her eyes. When your child is using a computer or playing video games, he or she should also take periodic rest breaks. If your child spends many hours working with a computer, ask your optometrist to suggest ways to help avoid visual-related problems.
To make viewing easier on your child's eyes:
- Be sure the room has soft overall lighting.
- Place the screen to avoid glare and reflections.
- View TV from a distance of about six to eight feet or approximately five times the width of the screen away.
Be sure your child's hours away from school include time for active visual motor activity and creative play. Both can help keep vision skills functioning properly.
Protection from the Sun
Children's eyes need protection from the sun, too. In fact, scientific studies show that kids need sun protection even more than adults do.
The same UV rays that cause sunburns can also contribute to eye health problems. Kids are especially vulnerable to developing these eye disorders because they spend so much time outdoors. Scientists have determined that most eye damage occurs before age eight.
We carry Eyes Cream Shades® in a wide selection of colors, which can block up to 100% of harmful UV rays. The polycarbonate lenses are shaterproof and the frames are durable.
General Eye Protection
Teach your child these eye safety rules:
- Keep away from targets of darts, bows-and-arrows, BB guns, and missile-throwing toys
- Don't run with or throw sharp objects
- Wear safety goggles when using chemistry sets, power tools, fireworks, and household and yard chemicals.
A Final Word
Your care and concern for your child's vision can enrich his or her future and, at the same time, help develop good eye care habits for a lifetime of good vision.
This information provided by the American Optometric Association (AOA). To find out more, visit their website at www.aoa.org.