It’s back to school time again and parents everywhere are scrambling for all the right supplies, activities and schedules to make the year go as smoothly as possible. While you are thinking about your child’s well-being, don’t forget to consider his or her eye health and safety.
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month,1 and the board-certified ophthalmologists at Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, want to remind you of 6 easy things you can do to help your child see clearly and excel this year in school and in sports.
Annual Eye Exam
Have your child’s eyes changed in the last year? You may not have noticed any warning signs, but an exam by Colorado Ophthalmology Associates can quickly determine if there are any problems with your child’s vision that will interfere with learning and developing in the year ahead.
Warning signs that there might be a problem with your child’s vision:2
- Avoiding answering questions about something they may not be seeing
- Unexplained delays or struggles in reading, writing or mathematics
- Rubbing eyes
- Frequent headaches
- Covering one eye
- Sitting too close to the TV or hand-held devices
- Tilting of the head when writing or reading
- Watery eyes
- Trouble concentrating on schoolwork
Sports Eye Protection
Sports are a leading cause of eye injuries in children. The good news is that the majority of these injuries could be prevented with proper eye protection. If your child is signing up for a sport this year, ask your ophthalmologist about the right kind of safety gear to prevent injury and blindness or visit https://preventblindness.org/recommended-sports-eye-protectors/.
Work and Play
Also, take a closer look at your child’s play time interests. If BB guns, paintball guns, bow and arrows or other toys pose a threat, make sure you have provided the right eye protection and have explained the rules to your child.
If you enjoy woodworking or other crafts with your child, make sure you are modeling the right use of safety glasses and have your child wear appropriately sized glasses of his own.3
Don’t overlook the power of a balanced diet in protecting your child’s sight. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will help keep eyes healthy.4 Leafy greens, carrots and fish are all great for maintaining eye health.
Kids who are active and move a lot will be healthier and have a healthier body weight than kids who are stationary for long periods of time. Children who are overweight have an increased risk of developing diabetes and other conditions that can be harmful to their eyesight.4
Avoid Screen Fatigue
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, children can strain their eyes with electronic devices and should be reminded to rest their eyes regularly, following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. A small timer may help children learn this good habit.
Additionally, they should be 18 to 24 inches from the screen. Remind them to blink frequently. Adjust the screen brightness and protect against direct light glare on the screen.5
Get help for your child
If your child is having vision trouble or is showing any problems with his or her eyes, call right away for an appointment at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood. If you’re signing your child up for a sport this year, we can help you find the right eye protection to help keep your child’s eyes safe.