August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, just in time for back-to-school activities. If your child is more than a year old, this is an excellent time to take them in for an eye exam! After all, vision trouble is one of the leading causes of unnecessary behavioral problems in school, and can even contribute to poor grades.
Besides that, what other activities can a parent engage in to help protect their child’s eyesight? We’ve got some suggestions!
Four Ways To Protect Your Children’s Eye Health
1 – Talk to your child about eye safety.
This is one of the basic things, but commonly overlooked. You can’t protect your child’s eyes 24/7. It’s vital to teach them how precious their vision is, especially in terms of using protective eyewear whenever their eyes might be at risk
2 – Model good behavior.
Those talks go down better if the child’s parents are showing how things should be done. Make sure you and your spouse are always using protective goggles, such as when working with fireworks or around machinery.
3 – Require sports goggles for physical outdoor play.
Broadly speaking, we wish every child playing baseball or hockey -or any other sport with small flying objects- were using goggles. A single accidental impact can ruin an eye, or an eye socket.
And no one has the reflexes to reliably duck a 100mph flying object. That’s why goalies and catchers wear full facemasks.
However, this is especially relevant if your child already wears corrective lenses. Damage from flying objects can be made worse by traditional glasses or contacts. Prescription sports goggles truly are the only safe option here.
4 – Watch for the following warning signs.
Generally speaking, a child’s eyes should develop “by themselves” without the need for parental intervention. After all, we’ve been doing it for a very long time. However, if you see any of the following in your child, you should contact an eye doctor:
- Pink or bloodshot eyes
- Yellow-tinted “whites” of their eyes
- Mismatched coloration
- Miscolored or mirror-like pupils
- Visible cysts or lesions around the eyelid
- Consistently mis-aimed or uncoordinated eyes
- Excessive tearing, especially when not truly crying
- Moving nearer/further from objects to read them
Remember, children’s eye health is crucial because they only get one set of eyes. Don’t hesitate to contact your Phoenix Optometrist if you have any concerns!