Healthy eyes including good eyesight are crucial to proper child development but studies have shown that 1 in 5 school-age children suffer from a vision issue. You, as the parent, can make a difference in ensuring that your children can enjoy the benefits of good eyesight. You have to always keep in mind that good vision contributes to better academic performance, psychosocial health, and physical health, among others.
Here are the things that you should remember about this all-important matter.
Regular Eye Exams Is a Must
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), young children should have their eyes checked by optometrists and/or ophthalmologists at clinics like Sears at certain ages and milestones. These milestones include:
- A newborn should have his eyes checked for possible congenital eye problems, which can be conducted by the attending paediatrician.
- Between 6 and 12 months of age, your child must have his first comprehensive eye examination to detect signs of vision problems, such as lazy eye, near-sightedness, or farsightedness.
- Between 3 and 3½ years old, your child should ideally have his first visual acuity test. The optometrist will determine the need for prescription eyeglasses in case of far-sightedness or near-sightedness.
- Ate age 5, you should take your child for a follow-up visual acuity and eye alignment exam. The optometrist will make a comparison between the first and second exams to determine possible eye health issues in the future.
Annual eye exams afterwards for relatively healthy kids are important. Your optometrist will set regular exams with more frequency in case your child has a history of vision problems or has high risks for eye diseases.
Be Aware of Symptoms
As a parent, you have to brush up on the basics of symptoms signalling injuries or illness for several reasons, such as the need for early detection and diagnosis by your family doctor. You don’t have to go to medical school or read medical books but it helps to be aware of these signs that signal your child requires immediate medical attention:
- Chronic nausea and headaches not associated with any illness
- Eyes that don’t appear to line up or track movements together
- Constant rubbing of the eyes
- Unusual reactions to bright light and/or glare
- Inability to track an object’s movement with his eyes
- Chronic redness of the eyes
- Nausea after reading or difficulty in reading
- Difficulty seeing objects at a distance
The bottom line: You should listen to your child’s complaints about his eyes so that appropriate action can be promptly taken.