Children’s Eye Health and Safety: 3 Back-to-School Eye Care Tips for Kids

Our kids so often learn by looking. From following along as their teacher writes words on the board to soaking in the delicate brush strokes of Monet and Renoir, the littlest people in our lives see the world in a very special way. 

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, and Illinois Eye Center is using the opportunity to highlight three ways you can help protect your children’s eye health from birth through adulthood.

Schedule Routine Eye Exams

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, children should get their first vision check at birth, followed by rechecks between 6 and 12 months of age, around the age of 3 and before the child enters school. Of course, parents should schedule an extra checkup whenever they suspect their child may have an eye-related problem, and injuries should be attended to immediately. 

Many pediatricians and family doctors are technically capable of performing a screening, but there is no substitute for the expert assessment of an eye specialist such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist

Pay Attention and Be Prepared

During your children’s eye exams, your child’s ophthalmologist will be on the lookout for common vision problems including myopia (also known as nearsightedness) and alignment issues. They may also ask if you’ve noticed any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Eye strain when watching TV or working on the computer
  • Squinting to read or do homework
  • Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close when reading
  • Excessive tearing
  • Light sensitivity
  • Using fingers to follow along when reading
  • Rubbing eyes frequently
  • Closing one eye to better focus

Take Steps to Prevent Eye Injuries During — and After — the Back-to-School Season

Safety is also a major concern during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Safety framessports eyewear and sunglasses can help protect young eyes from sawdust and paint during home crafting sessions, stray elbows on the basketball court, and the harsh glare of sunbeams bouncing off the water at the community pool. Using safety gates, securing caustic chemicals and pesticides, and cushioning sharp corners can also help safeguard against accidents inside the home.

Did you know that one in four school-age children has a vision problem or vision limitation that affects their ability to play sports, learn efficiently in school, and properly interact with the world at large?

To ensure your kids never fall behind, call Illinois Eye Center at (309) 243-2400 and schedule a vision check today.