Children’s Eyes Health And Safety Are Critical For Learning And Socialization
August 2023 marks Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, which is a critical time to consider the fact that many children are either returning to school or preparing to do so. As the new academic year begins, it’s essential to prioritize the well-being of children’s eyes. Having a clear vision is crucial for interactions with others, comprehending visual information, and gaining knowledge, especially during the first three years of school when reading is a vital skill. Parents are advised to schedule regular eye checkups with a professional to ensure that their child’s eye health is at its best.
A child’s development can be negatively impacted by poor vision in several ways. Eye coordination, tracking, and focusing are crucial for activities like reading and writing. Children who struggle with these visual skills may have difficulty participating in such activities. The most common cause of vision loss in children is amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye,” which affects about 2% of children between 6 and 72 months of age. This vision disorder occurs when abnormal neural connections between the brain and eye develop during early childhood, leading to impaired vision. 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 Should Know
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
10 Facts For Children And Healthy Eyes For Life (Optometrists Network)
- Many school-age children are farsighted
- Limited screen time lowers the risk of myopia and eye strain
- Many vision problems go unrecognized for years
- Vision problems can lead to learning disabilities
- Children can develop eye diseases
- Color blindness is common in boys
- Sports are the number one cause of eye injuries
- Over 90% of children’s eye injuries can be prevented
- Contact lenses can be challenging for children
- Keep cleaning products away from children
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.