Annual Eye Exams Important for Back-to-School Whether in Classroom Setting or At Home
August 11, 2020
August Is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month: Lighthouse Guild Offers Tips
Lighthouse Guild, the leading vision and health organization, notes that good vision is one of the keys to success in school and encourages parents to make sure their children get regular vision screenings. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 80 percent of all learning during a child’s first 12 years comes through the eyes.
While COVID-19 remains a major health concern, back-to-school season is still time for parents to remember to schedule their child’s annual comprehensive eye exam.
“Scheduling an eye exam is the most important thing you can do to protect your child’s vision,” says, Dr. Laura Sperazza, Director of Low Vision Services at Lighthouse Guild. “An eye health professional can determine if your child needs eyeglasses or lenses, or if there is a vision problem that requires further intervention.”
“Some specific warning signs that may suggest a vision problem include a family history of childhood vision problems, disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects, and squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television,” Dr. Sperazza adds.
Eye Health Tips
Maintaining healthy vision also requires basic eye safety practices. Eye injuries, often attributable to play and sports-related accidents, are the leading cause of vision loss in children. To help prevent vision impairment, basic rules of safety should be followed, including:
- Wearing protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities, using chemicals or tools for school projects, or engaging in other physical activities.
- Purchasing age-appropriate toys and avoiding toys with sharp or protruding components.
- Eating right – Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet loaded with different types of fruits and veggies, as well as fish.
- Speaking up – Ask your child if they have noticed any vision changes. Are they experiencing blurry vision, the need to squint, or any eye discomfort?
- Wearing your glasses – Help your child understand the importance of wearing their eyeglasses. If they are resistant, because they believe glasses are unattractive, try pointing out sports figures and other respected people who wear glasses.
- Resting Your Eyes – Excessive screen time can have an effect on your child’s eyes. Encourage your child to take a 20 second break from screen time every 20 minutes and look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Avoid falls and slips – Secure loose rugs and other tripping hazards that might result in eye and other physical injuries. Use a nonskid mat inside the bathtub or shower and on the bathroom floor. Tighten handrails for indoor and outdoor stairs and walkways, and provide sufficient lighting.
- Practice hand and eye hygiene – Wash your hands after completing each task and before touching your eyes or face. If you wear contact lenses, wash your hands before taking the contacts out and disinfect them to avoid infection.
Help your children have a successful school year by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam and taking steps to make sure their eyes are free from injury.
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. We provide coordinated care for eye health, vision rehabilitation and behavioral health as well as related services directed at prevention, early detection and intervention of vision disorders. Reducing the burdens of vision loss is the cornerstone of what we do. For more information, visit lighthouseguild.org.
Source: Lighthouse Guild
Contact: Bryan Dotson, Manners Dotson Group