Did you know that August is Children’s eye health and safety month? Our children are dear to us, and so is their sight. Safety, in general, is an important practice for your child, but this month the focus is on their eyes. Eye health influences both physical and intellectual qualities. The large majority of a child’s learning is visual, therefore good vision and healthy eyes are crucial for healthy development and their overall well-being.
While 1 in 4 children suffer from visual impairment, we think it is important that you educate yourself and your children about eye health and safety. There are a lot of common questions that people ask when it comes to their children’s eyes, and sometimes the correct answers can be difficult to find. Keep reading to learn a bit more about your children’s visual health.
What are the common symptoms of visual impairment in a child?
Regardless of the eye problem, there are typically a few common symptoms you may observe in your child. Keep in mind that children often do not voice it when they are experiencing most symptoms of apparent vision problems. Common symptoms of vision impairment include:
- Squinting of the eyes when trying to focus
- Rubbing of the eyes or pressing on them when trying to focus
- Covering of one eye
- Complaints of headaches
- An eye that wanders (or both)
- A disinterest in reading or looking at objects that are far away
- Frequent blinking
- Tilting or turning of their head when looking far away at an object
At what age should you have your child taken in for their first eye exam?
Many people don’t realize how young they should have their children’s eyes examined. The American Optometric Associations suggests that parents take their children in for an eye exam at the age of 6 months. The child should then go in for a follow up at the age of 3 (if there are no apparent issues), and then again at the age of 5 or 6 years. Once your child has reached the age of 6, they should return to their optometrist in Keller every 2 years. If your child has a history of vision issues or wears glasses then they should return to their eye doctor for a checkup annually.
What are the common conditions that cause said symptoms in children?
There are a few common visual conditions in children that occur more than others. It is important to make sure your child visits their eye doctor regularly in order to catch any issues early for treatment. This will decrease their chances of having more severe vision issues later on in life.
These common eye conditions in children include:
- A Lazy eye (Amblyopia)
- Crossed eyes (Strabismus)
- Color blindness (inability to see certain colors)
- An astigmatism
- Eye injuries
How many eye injuries in the United States are sports related?
Did you know that the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States is due to eye injuries? Each year in America there is a total of about 42,000 sports-related eye injuries. According to the National Eye Institute:
- In the U.S., every 13 minutes a child is taken to the emergency room for a sports-related eye injury.
- Amongst children ages 11 to 14 years old most eye injuries occur playing sports
- The sports that are rated as having the highest amount of eye injuries are basketball, ice hockey, tennis and other racquet sports, baseball, and softball
It is really important that you don’t skip out on the protective eyewear for your children when they are playing sports. With these statistics, if your child’s sport’s team doesn’t enforce it, you should even consider speaking to other parents and the team manager about having the rule put into place about wearing protective eyewear during play.
Visit your eye doctor regularly
Do your best to ensure your child’s vision health and safety by educating yourself and your children on the importance of protecting their eyes. Ensure you and your child visit your optometrist in Roanoke regularly, usually at least once a year, more or less depending upon your current eye health.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a trusted, experienced, and caring eye doctor, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at First Eye Care DFW.