August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. 

Add an annual eye examination for your child to your back to school list. More than 80 percent of classroom learning for children is completely visual. So, do it for your child’s health and their performance in the classroom!

What to Expect From an Eye Exam

A routine eye examination allows a doctor to examine the functionality of your child’s vision and look for eye conditions of which you may not be aware. These conditions most commonly include Strabismus (cross-eyed) and Amblyopia (lazy-eyed). Other conditions include being colorblind, or struggling with nearsightedness/farsightedness.

Without being properly treated, these conditions can lead to problems down the road. Children may present signs and symptoms leading up to their eye troubles. Some of these include:

  • Rubbing eyes
  • Squinting 
  • Tilting/Turning head to look at objects
  • Both or one eye wandering 
  • Squeezing eyes

Safety is Equally Important

Activities from sports to overuse of electronics may contribute to eye injuries.

  • Contact sports put children at high risk of injury when not wearing the appropriate helmets and goggles.
  • Children participating in activities in lakes and chlorine filled pools should take caution as well.  Bacteria from water can lead to eye infections, while chlorine and high chemical content can lead to chemical conjunctivitis or corneal damage.
  • Overuse of electronics can strain eyes and lead to need of glasses overtime.

If you suspect your child has suffered from eye damage, it is important to take them to a doctor immediately.

Food and Children’s Eye Health

Include dark, leafy greens in your child’s diet as well as eggs to increase prevention of cataract cancer. Eating carrots is proven to increase eye health due to its high content of vitamin A.  Citrus fruits and berries act as a strong aid in vitamin C to reduce disease and cancer of the eyes. 

Learn more about Eye Care at the University of Vermont Medical Center. 

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