Back To School August 2023 And Children Eye Health
As August 2023 marks Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, it’s important to keep in mind that some children may already be back in the classroom or they are preparing to do so, and most children will be starting school this week. Therefore, it’s imperative to consider the health of their eyes, which are vital tools for socializing, visualizing, and learning. It is important to note that during the first three years of school, children are in the process of learning to read, and they’re reading to learn. Fundamentally, it’s wise to take children for regular eye exams with a professional because children are always using their eyes to visualize their surroundings and learn. Taking your child to an eye professional is the best way to ensure their vision health is at its optimum, therefore, ensuring their ability to learn and their degree of socialization for academic success. When a child has poor vision, it can affect their development in various ways, such as eye coordination, tracking, and focusing. These visual skills are necessary for reading, writing, and other activities that require visual attention. Thus, children with poor visual skills may face difficulties in participating in such activities.
The most common cause of vision loss for children is Amblyopia. Amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye,” is a vision disorder that affects roughly 2% of children aged 6 to 72 months. It’s the most prevalent cause of vision loss in children. Amblyopia occurs when abnormal neural connections between the brain and eye develop during early childhood, leading to impaired vision (Source: Prevent Blindness).
The purpose of Children’s Eye Safety Month is:
- Discuss the significance of maintaining good eye health and spread awareness about it
- Bring attention to the importance of preventing eye injuries in children.
- How to protect children’s eyesight.
- Educate parents and educators about how to detect vision problems in children early
If you take your child for yearly eye check-ups, that’s great! However, it’s important to keep in mind that eye issues can arise between eye exams. It’s a good idea to watch out for any signs or behaviors that suggest your child may be experiencing vision and learning problems. If you notice any of the following signs or behaviors, it’s best to make an appointment with an eye specialist.
What Parents And Educators Can Do
The American Association of Ophthalmology (AAO) suggests that parents, educators, and others should have a checklist consisting of the following before children start each school year,
- Preventative Eye Care list regarding eye diseases and their impact on eye health and vision
- Vision Screening should occur yearly or when there are signs of vision problems
- Pink Eye symptoms and potential issues, viral or bacterial pink eye (conjunctivitis) infections spread fast in classrooms
- The 20-minute eye rule, look away every 20 minutes
- Rules specific to blinking eyes when using digital devices
- Best practice to reduce glare on digital devices
- Best practices for brightness and contrast levels to maximize comfort when using digital devices
Things parents/teachers should do if a child has an eye injury:
- Scratched eye—If the cornea is only lightly scratched, it should heal without any issues. However, if it is deeply cut, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In the case of your child, surgery will likely be necessary.
- Dust or sand in eyes—Encourage the child to blink several times. If that doesn’t provide relief, consider using a commercial eye wash to cleanse the affected eye.
- Chemical burn—If chemicals accidentally get into your child’s eye, it’s important to flush the affected eye with running water for 15 minutes. After doing so, seek immediate medical advice from a doctor.
- Cut eyelid—If there is a cut on the eyelid, it’s important to have it stitched by an eye doctor.
- Blood in the eye—If there is blood in the eye, it is important to seek medical attention immediately by going to the emergency room.
- Black eye—In most cases, black eyes do not require any treatment.
Things Parents And Educators Must Look Out For (Parenting.Kards4Kids)
The appearance of the eyes:
- One of the eyes may turn inward or outward, causing misalignment.
- If your eyelids are red, crusty, or swollen, it may be a sign of an eye infection or allergy. It’s important to seek medical advice to determine the cause and receive appropriate treatment.
- One may experience redness or excessive watering in their eyes.
- Constantly rubbing eyes
- Cover or close one eye
- Tilting their head to the side or pushing it forward while watching TV, may be a sign of discomfort or strain.
- Sometimes hold their books either too close or too far away
- Often blinking
- They become irritable when they are compelled to do reading or other tasks that require close attention
- Squinting or frowning
- Lack of interest in reading or looking at faraway objects
- Wandering ete
Your child says(Parenting.Kars4kids):
- “My eyes itch”
- “My eyes are burning”
- “My eyes are on fire”
- “My eyes feel scratchy like something’s in them”
- “I can’t see that very well”
After Close Work
- “My head hurts”
- “I feel dizzy”
- “I feel sick in my stomach, nauseated”
- “Everything’s all blurry”
- “I’m seeing two of everything”
Ways to Protect Children’s Eyes
- Rest the eyes.
- Protection against sun damageAugust
- Increase time spent outdoors
- Intake of fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish
- Schedule regular eye checkups
- Encourage healthy eye care habits
Please remember to schedule an eye exam with us if you notice any issues with your child’s vision that may hinder their socialization skills or learning in the classroom. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions, or are not sure about your child’s vision.