In the flurry of activity to get your kids ready for back-to-school, did you remember to have their eyes examined?
Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month in an effort to encourage parents to learn about ways to protect their child’s vision.
While an eye exam is the ideal way for parents to know if their child has a vision problem, parents should also watch for the following signs:
What do your child's eyes look like?
- Eyes don't line up, one eye appears crossed or looks outward
- Eyelids are red-rimmed, crusted or swollen
- Eyes are watery or red (inflamed)
How does your child act?
- rubs eyes a lot
- closes or covers one eye
- tilts head or thrusts head forward
- has trouble reading or doing other close-up work, or holds objects close to eyes to see
- blinks more than usual or seems cranky when doing close-up work
- squints eyes or frowns
Does your child say:
- "My eyes are itchy," "my eyes are burning" or "my eyes feel scratchy," "I can't see very well."
- After doing close-up work, your child says "I feel dizzy," "I have a headache" or "I feel sick/nauseous."
- "Everything looks blurry," or "I see double.”
Catching eye problems early so they may be treated or cured is only one of many reasons for regular eye exams. Poor vision can impair learning and affect motor skills or coordination which can lead to accidents or falls.
Parents and caretakers are encouraged to visit preventblindness.org for free information on a variety of children’s vision health topics including eye conditions and eye safety. Parents can also call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 for information or local financial resources for eye exams and glasses.
For more back to school tips, including healthy lunch options, see our latest newsletter: Back to School Success: Health and Safety Tips.
Prevent Blindness America