As well marking back to school, September is also Children’s Eye and Health Safety Month.
It’s a prime time for parents to evaluate their children’s eye health.
Parents should watch for possible signs of concern in small children. For instance, does my child tilt his or her head when looking at something or hold objects too close to their eyes? Do they rub their eyes a lot? Do they close or cover one? Is my child squinting or frowning a lot?
If a parent notices any of these signals they should schedule a comprehensive eye examination including vision screening soon from an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
All children, even those with no signs of trouble, need to have their eyes checked at regular intervals, generally once per year.
Remember that poor vision at school can affect not only your child’s learning ability and grades but also their personality, attitude and adjustment in school. Do you know that vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four school age children?
A child’s eyes develop rapidly between ages six and 10 and many eye problems can be corrected if caught early and treated at that time.
Here in the Cayman Islands, kids can also spend a great deal of time outside and we all know that the sun here can be very intense. Keep in mind children are at special risk from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation since their eyes do not have the same ability as adults to protect from UV radiation.
Proper sunglasses are helpful outside but if your child already wears prescription eyeglasses, those lenses can be locally prepared with a UV coating as well.
So, as you prepare for school days remember to put your children’s eye care on your list along with backpacks and pencils.