August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
Dr. Andrea Zimmerman
Back-to-School Eye Health Tips from Lighthouse Guild
NEW YORK – Along with purchasing school supplies and back-to-school clothing, it’s also the time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for the kids. To remind parents, August has been designated Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.
Lighthouse Guild, the leading vision and health organization, notes that good vision is one of the keys to success in school and encourages parents to make sure their children get regular vision screenings. “Scheduling an eye exam is the most important thing you can do to protect your child’s vision,” explains Dr. Andrea Zimmerman, a low vision specialist at Lighthouse Guild. “An eye health professional can determine if your child needs eyeglasses or lenses, or if there is a vision problem that requires further intervention.
“Some specific warning signs that may suggest a vision problem include a family history of childhood vision problems, disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects, and squinting or turning the head in an unusual manner while watching television,“ Dr. Zimmerman adds.
Eye Safety Concerns
Maintaining healthy vision also requires basic eye safety practices. Eye injuries, often attributable to play and sports-related accidents, are the leading cause of vision loss in children. To help prevent vision impairment, basic rules of safety should be followed, including:
• Wearing protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities, using chemicals or tools for school projects, or engaging in other physical activities.
• Purchasing age-appropriate toys and avoiding toys with sharp or protruding components.
Other key factors that contribute to your child’s eye health and safety:
• Eating right – Encourage your child to eat a well-balanced diet loaded with different types of fruits and veggies, as well as fish.
• Speaking up – Ask your child if they’ve noticed any vision changes. Are they experiencing blurry vision, the need to squint, or any eye discomfort?
• Wearing your glasses – Help your child understand the importance of wearing their eyeglasses. If they are resistant, because they believe glasses are unattractive, try pointing out sports figures and other respected people who wear glasses.
• Resting Your Eyes – Encourage your child to take a break from staring at “the screen,” which will tire their eyes.
Help your children have a successful school year by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam and taking steps to make sure their eyes are free from injury.
About Lighthouse Guild
Lighthouse Guild is the leading organization dedicated to addressing and preventing vision loss. For more information, visit Lighthouseguild.org.