August is recognized as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month as well as National Children’s Vision and Learning Month. As kids prepare for the new school year, they should make sure to have eye screenings to guarantee their eyes are working properly and effectively. Vision problems can affect 1 in 4 children which is why it is so important to have their eyes checked.
While everyone should have their eyes checked regularly for damage, children should especially because they are more susceptible to UV damage since they spend more time outside than most adults. Regardless of your age though, it is always a good idea to wear sunglasses or a brimmed hat to shield eyes from harsh damaging rays.
The Center for Disease Control recommends that children start getting their eyes checked before they are three months old. They should have them checked again at six months to one year, then at three years and again at five years old. If there is any family history of vision problems, this is especially important. In some cases, kids who have been diagnosed with learning disabilities may actually be suffering from vision problems instead.
Besides taking children in regularly for eye check-ups, what other signs can parents look for to know if their child is suffering with a vision problem? Here are some key signs that could mean taking your child in for a vision check-up:
-Closing or covering one eye
-Squinting eyes to see or frowning
-Rubs eyes frequently
-Complaining about things being blurry or hard to see
-Having trouble reading
-Holding objects close to the eye in order to see them
-Blinks more than usual
It is important that parents look out for these issues so that they can make sure their child is not suffering from vision problems. It is also important for parents to make sure their kids wear protective eye wear when playing sports, doing science experiments, or any craft that could potentially hurt the eyes. And if a chemical gets in the eye, make sure to flush it with water right away and call a Poison Control Center if needed. The Poison Control number is 1-800-222-1222.
Texas Poison Control: http://www.csec.texas.gov/poison-control
More Information on Vision: http://www.childrensvision.com/
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