August is here, which means school is starting right around the corner!
Teachers are busy preparing their classrooms. Parents and children are gathering all the supplies needed for a new year of learning. August is a great time to focus on children and learning. That is why August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.
Children may be unaware that what they see is abnormal leaving them not knowing to ask for help. Untreated vision problems can impair development, impact learning, and prevent a child from succeeding in the classroom. “Eighty percent of the learning a child does occurs through the eyes,” according to the American Optometric Association. Early detection of any visual problem is important to prevent children from struggling in school.
Common signs of vision problems include:
• Squinting while reading or watching TV
• Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
• Clumsiness in sports or on the playground
• Wandering or crossed eyes
• Does not enjoy reading
• Trouble remembering what was just read
To help children learn in school, it is important for parents to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for their kids. An eye doctor can help determine if glasses are needed and also checks for the following diseases:
• Amblyopia (lazy eye)
• Strabismus (crossed eyes)
• Color deficiency (color blindness)
Frequent cell phone, tablet, and computer use can cause eye strain. “With the increased use of tablets and computers at school and for homework we need to remind students to take breaks and give their eyes a rest when looking at any digital device,” states Dr. Faith Schneider, optometrist at EyeCare Associates, LLC. To help prevent eye strain it is important to remember the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes take a break and look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Screens should also be at least 30 inches from the eyes.
For more information on eye health, or where you can go for an eye exam in your area call the Four Corners Health Department at 402-362-2621.