Valuable Insight on Children’s Eye Health & Safety | MDNow
August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. While making sure your child has healthy vision is important year-round; the back-to-school season is the perfect time to get better acquainted with the illnesses and injuries that can occur during school, or while playing sports.
Signs of Vision Trouble
There are some telltale signs that your child may be experiencing vision issues. Carefully monitor your child’s vision if you notice them displaying the following:
- Frequently rubbing their eyes
- Crossed or wandering eyes
- Problems with reading or watching television
- Turning head to look at objects
Common Eye Health Issues in Children
Early diagnosis and treatment is imperative when it comes to eye diseases and conditions.
Below are the most common eye health issues that children experience:
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Chalazion (small lump on eyelid, caused by clogged gland)
- Stye (red, sore lump on the edge of the eyelid, caused by an infected eyelash follicle)
- Preseptal or Orbital Cellulitis (infection related to a trauma, upper respiratory infection, or eyelid infection)
If you suspect your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, bring them into your local MD Now for an official diagnosis.
Eye Safety and Sports
Sport eye injuries cause 42,000 people a year to seek emergency treatments, and 1 in 3 sports eye injuries involve children. The fact is, 90% of those injuries are preventable simply by wearing the proper protective eye gear.
Proper eye gear includes googles for swimming and playing contact sports like lacrosse.
Learn to recognize the symptoms of an eye injury:
- Blood in the white area of the eye
- Eye sticking, or one eye does not move as fluidly as the other
- Unusual pupil size
- Obvious pain and trouble seeing
Once the eye is injured, prevent your child from rubbing, touching, or applying pressure to the injury. Instead, see a physician immediately who will be able to properly treat the injury, cut, or puncture.
Comprehensive Eye Exams
Some eye issues, such as refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism), need to be diagnosed by an optometrist during a comprehensive eye exam. If caught early, sight issues due to these more series conditions can be drastically reduced.
Other series eye conditions that need a full examination include:
- Strabismus (crossed eyes)
- Color blindness
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Pediatric Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
- Diplopia (Double vision)
Eye Health Quick Takeaways
Maintaining your child’s eye health will not only help them live better, but it will help mitigate or alleviate potential eye problems later in life. Apart from scheduling a back-to-school physical, here are 5 quick and easy things you can do every day to keep your child’s eyes healthy.
1. Make sure your children have the problem protective eyewear for sports and swimming
2. Avoid toys that cause eye injuries
3. Keep a healthy home environment by padding sharp corners
4. Wear 100% UVA and UVB protective sunglasses when outside, especially during the summer months when the sun’s rays are more powerful.
5. Avoid eye strain by having children take a break from using electronic devices, the computer, or watching television for too long.