August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. This is a time when the American Academy of Ophthalmology brings awareness to childhood eye health.
It’s important to maintain good eye health all year, but August is the time most children start school. Before the school year starts, you should prepare by getting your child a comprehensive eye exam and going over basic eye safety with them.
You should also be on the lookout for common childhood eye conditions throughout the year. Keep reading to learn how you can protect your child’s eyes during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month!
Common Eye Conditions
There are many different eye conditions that appear in early adolescence. These include lazy eye (amblyopia), drooping eyelids (ptosis), crossed eyes (strabismus), and color blindness.
These are all relatively common in children, so you should watch out for them. Bring your child to the eye doctor if they exhibit signs of any of these conditions.
Only an eye care professional can diagnose these eye conditions and recommend treatment. Regardless of any symptoms your child exhibits, they should have yearly eye exams.
The most common eye condition in adults and children is refractive errors. These include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If your child has a refractive error, getting glasses can improve their quality of life immensely.
Having regular eye exams can help diagnose a refractive error early. Comprehensive eye exams include visual acuity tests that can diagnose any visual problems.
Some schools also give their students yearly visual and auditory exams during the school year. If your child receives these, you should still have them see an eye doctor every year.
If your child is struggling in school, it may not be because they’re having trouble learning. It’s common, especially for young children, to have difficulty seeing the board and they may not recognize that their vision is an issue.
But if your child is struggling in school or not, you should always take them to the eye doctor once a year. Having an annual eye exam in the month before school starts is a good way to be prepared for the school year.
This will give your child the opportunity to get glasses if they need them and let them do well in school.
School and Sports Safety
Eye exams are important when it comes to maintaining good eye health. But another component of good eye health is avoiding injuries.
Eye injuries aren’t uncommon, especially in children who play sports. Whether your child competes in a sport at school or attends gym class, you should make sure the school uses proper safety precautions.
For some sports, you may have to buy equipment for your child. Make sure you also buy the appropriate eye protection. If the school provides equipment, ensure that the equipment includes eye protection, and if it doesn’t, provide your own.
Eye safety should also be considered in the classroom. If your child is in a science class that uses potentially hazardous materials, it should have adequate safety measures.
This should include an eye washing station. There should also be safety goggles for students to wear when using hazardous materials. Schools must provide these safety measures, but it’s always good to make sure your child knows how important protecting their eyes and following safety rules is.
If you have your child’s eyes examined and educate them on proper eye safety, you’ll set them up for success for the upcoming school year and beyond!
Schedule an eye exam for your child before the upcoming school year at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, ME, today!