Tips For Kids Vision Health
The Month of August is Children’s Vision Health and Safety Month. Its almost time for kids to go back to school, so its definitely time to have their annual check ups. Here are some simple tips for your children’s vision health and safety.
- Be sure your children get an extensive eye exam each year.
Routine medical exams for kids’ vision include:
- Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.
- High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems, and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
- In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for eye health during checkups with their pediatrician or family doctor.
- Around age 3½, kids should have eye health screenings and visual acuity tests (tests that measure sharpness of vision) with their pediatrician or family doctor.
- Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician or family doctor. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye doctor.
- After age 5, routine screenings should be done at school and the primary doctor’s office, and if symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches occur. (Many times, a teacher will notice that a child isn’t seeing well in class.)
- Kids who wear prescription glasses or contacts should have annual checkups by an eye doctor to screen for vision changes.
Signs that a child may have vision problems include:
- constant eye rubbing
- extreme light sensitivity
- poor focusing
- poor visual tracking (following an object)
- abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
- chronic redness of the eyes
- chronic tearing of the eyes
- a white pupil instead of black
School-age children, other signs to watch for include:
- being unable to see objects at a distance
- having trouble reading the blackboard
- difficulty reading
- sitting too close to the TV
Tips for kids who wear glasses:
- Let kids pick their own frames.
- Plastic frames are best for children younger than 2.
- If older kids wear metal frames, make sure they have spring hinges, which are more durable.
- An elastic strap attached to the glasses will help keep them in place for active toddlers.
- Kids with severe eye problems may need special lenses called high-index lenses, which are thinner and lighter than plastic lenses.
- Polycarbonate lenses are best for all kids, especially those who play sports. Polycarbonate is a tough, shatterproof, clear thermoplastic used to make thin, light lenses. However, although they’re very impact-resistant, these lenses scratch more easily than plastic lenses.
For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page