Keeping our children’s eyes healthy and safe requires a parent or caregiver to always be thinking ahead. Often, we will only address eye problems as they arise, but anticipating situations before they happen is always best.
One way that you can help keep your children’s eyes healthy is by scheduling routine eye exams. Back-to-school season is a perfect time to schedule eye exams. At well visits, your pediatrician will examine your child’s eye alignment and give a brief visual acuity test. This is not sufficient, however, to diagnose all eye-related issues. Regular comprehensive eye exams will assure early detection and intervention. Children’s vision can change very quickly, so having regular eye exams is important.
Having clear vision is an essential part of the school experience because so much of learning is visual. An undiagnosed eye problem could result in an academic setback in just a few short months. Some behavior problems could be linked to vision issues, and some students may seem uninterested or unfocused in school when in actuality they simply cannot see clearly.
Children’s eye safety is something with which we need to be vigilant. Kids will not take precautions themselves, so we have to do it for them. Most accidents happen at home, and even normal household objects like pencils, scissors, paperclips, bungee cords and wire hangers can be dangerous. Sports and recreational activities can also cause eye injury, so wearing protective eyewear is a must.
If your child has experienced an eye injury, follow these guidelines to prevent further eye damage:
- Avoid touching, rubbing or applying pressure to the eye.
- Do not remove any object lodged in the eye. If the object is small, the child can blink rapidly to try to clear the object from the eyes.
- Avoid applying medication or ointment to the eye.
- Use water only when eyes have been exposed to chemicals.
- Cover a cut or puncture in the eye.
So much of being a parent or caregiver involves being proactive. We do not have to think of the worst case scenario, but an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! If you have questions about how to protect your child’s vision, contact your eye doctor today.