Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month – Tips for Kids to Keep Their Eyes Safe and Healthy
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, a time to raise awareness about children’s eye issues and ways to prevent vision and other eye health problems in the younger members of the community. August is the perfect time for this, as now is the time when kids are making their way back to school (or at least preparing to do so). That means that it’s a good time to think about their eyes, which are essential to learning and development.
Protecting Your Children’s Vision
Learning is extremely visual, so it’s a good idea to schedule regular eye exams for your child. In fact, children who appear to have learning disabilities often have vision problems instead – problems that are usually easily correctable. However, yearly eye exams are just the beginning. Because eye problems can develop between exams, you should also be on the lookout for signs that something is amiss, such as:
- One eye turning in or out
- Red, swollen, or watery eyes
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Covering or closing one eye
- Pushing the head forward or tilting the head to one side to see better
- Excessive blinking
- Holding books too close or too far away
- Complaining of eyes that itch, burn, or “feel scratchy.”
- Headaches, nausea, or dizziness after close work
Any of these symptoms can indicate that a visit to your local eye doctor is in order, even if your child just had an eye exam a few months ago.
Preventing Eye Injuries
Eye injuries are not just painful; they can also lead to vision problems. Scratched eyes, chemical burns, cut eyelids, or dust or sand in the eye that isn’t removed with blinking or using a commercial eyewash are reasons to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. If you see blood in your child’s eye, head to the emergency room. You can help prevent eye injuries in children by:
- Placing safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs if you have very young children
- Ensuring that all staircases have handrails
- Keeping dangerous household chemicals locked away
- Storing knives, other kitchen utensils, and work tools out of your child’s reach
- Having children wear sunglasses when outdoors
- Teaching eclipse safety so that kids know only to view solar eclipses with special viewing glasses (even if they don’t get the opportunity until they’re older)
Tips for Older Kids
Exams are constant challenges for high school and college students. Between not getting enough sleep, studying for long periods, and spending hours staring at computer screens, being a teenager is a recipe for tired, strained eyes. Students may notice that their eyes feel scratchy, achy, or dry. This problem is sometimes caused by blinking less than usual when using a computer, also known as digital eye strain.
However, sometimes, dry eyes are the result of not producing enough tears to keep the eyes comfortably lubricated. Either way, dry eyes can burn, sting, itch, and generally feel uncomfortable. Dry eyes are also more sensitive, so smoke or wind may cause profuse tearing. Over-the-counter ‘artificial tears” can help.
Whether your kids are learning to read or pulling all-nighters studying for exams, they need their eyes to function optimally. Schedule their next eye exam with Miami Contact Lens Institute today.