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August finds parents and grandparents checking off important activities before their children and grandchildren start a new school year.  Enrollment form? Check! Orientation schedule?  Check!  Immunizations? Check! 

How about their eyes??  We hope you said, “Check!” because good vision is key to a child’s physical development, success in school, and overall well-being.

Prevent Blindness America (www.preventblindness.org) has designated August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

Most children have healthy eyes; however, there are conditions that can threaten good vision.  Some symptoms are external and easy to spot, while others require the expertise of a medical professional. 

Boy taking an eye exam

What should you look for in children?

  • Wandering or crossed eyes
  • Squinting at objects that are near or far away
  • Frequent rubbing of eyes
  • Tilting or turning the head to look at objects
  • Prolonged crusting or tearing of the eyes
  • Droopy eyelid
  • Family history of childhood problems.

Many of these conditions, if diagnosed early, can be treated, and vision can be restored. 

August is also a great time to discuss the importance of eye safety with your children or grandchildren. Eye injuries are one of the leading causes of vision loss in children, and many of these are sports related.

Here are a few vision safety tips to help prevent injury:

  • Wear the appropriate eyewear when participating in sports or recreational activities.
  • Play with toys that are age appropriate. 
  • Avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts or edges.

To learn more about eye protectors by sport and to get tips for buying them, visit www.preventblindness.org and put “sports” in the search box.  There are many options.

One of the best ways you can ensure that your loved one maintains good vision throughout life is to set a good example yourself.

You can find lots of good information on children’s vision health and safety at www.preventblindness.org, www.geteyesmart.org, and www.friendsforsight.org.