It’s hard to believe that it is already time for parents to deal with “back to school” when 2020 and a large part of 2021 have been so difficult to maneuver. Are the kids physically in school or out of school this week? How will I work from home and help my children as they do online school? Will they be physically at school for the new school year in the fall of 2021? It would be nice if the start of the school year would be “back to school” and “back to normal,” but there appears to be some possible glitches that may come and go. All we can do is keep hoping for the best and think positive.
As children go back to whatever their learning environment this fall will be, we need to remember that healthy vision is of the upmost importance to their ability to learn and their overall healthy development. Children are sometimes unaware they even have a vision problem, so they don’t know how to ask for help.
Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month reminds us that that our children need the best opportunity to have a successful school year by having their vision checked. Eye exams are important as vision changes can occur without you or your child noticing. This month also stresses the importance of preventing sports-related eye injuries and vision loss and wearing protective eyewear when playing sports.
As children get older, any untreated eye disease or eye condition can become more difficult to treat. If these worsen, they can lead to other problems such as reading ability, classroom behavior and social problems.
Some of the vision problems effecting children are:
• Amblyopia (lazy eye)
• Strabismus (crossed eyes)
• Myopia (nearsightedness)
• Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
• Color deficiency (color blindness)
• Hyperopia (farsightedness)
• Astigmatism (imperfection in the eye’s curvature causing blurry vision, eyestrain, headaches, squinting)
Some of the warning signs that may show that your child may have a vision problem are:
• A lack of interest in looking at far away objects
• Disinterest in reading
• Turning of the head or squinting the eyes while watching television
• Crossed or wandering eyes
• Family history of childhood vision problems
With vision problems being the 4th most prevalent class of disability in the United States and one of the most prevalent conditions in childhood, the importance of an eye exam cannot be overstated. Vision screening and eye care are essential components for health and are, hopefully, on that school list for the fall. https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/resources/features/keep-eye-on-vision-health.html