August is Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month

As we gear up for back to school, you see the signs everywhere to remind you to buy those pencils, erasers and new clothes.  What you may not see are reminders to schedule your child’s annual eye exam.  Prevent Blindness declared August as Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month to help spread awareness and encourage families to make their children’s eye health a priority.  Every child, every year.

Did you know?

1 in 4 children have a vision problem, and often times they are undetected.  In a classroom setting, nearly 80% of content is presented visually.  If your child has a vision issue such as Myopia (nearsightedness), it can make it harder for them see the whiteboard at school and focus on the information being presented.  Too much screen time is having adverse affects on eye health, and the number of myopia cases has drastically since the introduction of the smartphone in 2007.  More and more children are needing glasses, and that can lead to other, more significant eye health problems later in life.

What can you do?

Schedule your child an annual eye exam with an Optometrist.  If the Optometrist has concerns with their vision, they will refer you to an Ophthalmologist.  Both can perform eye exams, but Ophthalmologists are medical doctors specialized to treat a wide range of eye diseases.  From there, both will co-manage your child’s eye health as a team. Oregon Eye Consultants has countless relationships with Optometrists all over the state.

If your child plays a sport, be sure that they are using protective eye wear, such as goggles or sunglasses. 90% of eye injuries could be prevented by wearing appropriate eye wear.

If your child uses technology such as a cell phone, tablet or computer, be sure they are taking proper breaks to avoid eye-strain. Abide by the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes of screen time, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Maintaining a healthy diet is important for your child’s overall health.

For more information, please visit preventblindness.com

*sources: alllaboutvision.com and aao.org  photo source: Goodrich optical