Author:- Viewpoint Eye
Tuesday 1st of August 2023 10:19:51 PM
Welcome to the month of August. It is holiday season and that time of the year where we create awareness for Children’s eye health and safety.
Do you know that 1 in 4 children have vision problems? Studies also show that 60% of children with learning difficulties have an undetected eye issue. The eye plays an important role in the overall development of the child. When there is visual deprivation in the early years of a child’s life, it could have physical, cognitive and social effects on not just the child but also the parents.
It is important to identify problems with vision early so as to prevent vision loss and mal-development. For infants, it is recommended that eye examinations are done at birth, between 6-12 months and 12-36 months to ensure the eyes are developing normally. Children should also have an eye examination and regularly after they are above 5 years old.
Children might not be able to communicate their visual challenges verbally so it is important that they have regular eye examinations. Ensure your child gets their eyes checked if you notice any of the following:
1. Have crossed eyes
2. Tilt their heads
3. Move close to the television or squint their eyes to see
4. Use their fingers to guide lines when they read
5. Have trouble reading/not interested in near work
6. Rub eyes frequently
7. Have tearing or watery eyes
8. Have red/swollen eyes
9. Complain of blurry vision
10. Have headaches or have trouble concentrating
Some of the common vision problems children have include;
1. Amblyopia: Also known as lazy eye occurs when the eye does not develop as it should and the brain begins to ignore images from that eye. If left untreated, even glasses cannot help the child see optimally.
2. Strabismus: This is also known as crossed eyes occur when the eyes are misaligned and they look in different directions.
3. Refractive error: This occurs when light does not focus on the retina and in turn causes blurry vision. The three types of refractive errors that can occur in kids are hyperopia, myopia and astigmatism.
Children are very active and might sustain eye injuries during sports. You can protect your child’s eyes during sports by ensuring they understand safety practices and wear protective helmets, safety goggles and face shield. During this holiday period, ensure that:
1. Screen time is reduced and encourage more engaging activities outdoor
2. Children's toys are age appropriate and they don’t have sharp or protruding edges that can be injurious to the eye.
3. They have balanced diet ( including fruits and vegetables)
4. Chemicals and soap are kept out of the reach of children
5. Furniture have no sharp edges
6. Children are kept away from fireworks
7. Children are kept away from the garden when mowing the lawn
8. They wash their hands regularly
9. You encourage children to avoid looking directly at the sun
It is pertinent to note that
i. Children can have eye examinations even before they are literate/verbal. You do not have to wait till they can talk or read before taking them for eye examination.
ii. Glasses will not make your child’s vision become worse. Glasses help to improve vision when they are on. Without the glasses, the child’s vision is back to its normal state.
iii. Vision loss also can also happen in children. It is not limited to adults alone.
iv. Children do not outgrow crossed eyes. If it is not treated promptly, it could lead to amblyopia or permanent loss of vision
v. Your children do not need to have visual complaints before you take them for an examination. Some eye conditions do not have any symptoms.
vi. No child is too young to wear glasses. There are no age restrictions to the use of glasses. If glasses are recommended for your child by an eye care professional, let them use it.
Do not take eye complaints from your child for granted. Ensure that they have regular comprehensive eye examinations to prevent permanent vision loss. Good vision is important to success in school and well-being.
If you have any complaints about your child’s eye, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit any of our branches.
Schedule an appointment for your child today.