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Since summer is ending and kids will be returning to a new school year, assuring their eyes are healthy is an integral part of the transition. Eye exams play a vital role in detecting certain eye conditions, such as amblyopia, one of the most common eye conditions. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), In the United States, about 1 in 4 preschool-aged children have an undiagnosed or untreated vision problem. Eye conditions can often be treated when diagnosed early on to help prevent further damage as the child grows. Early detection is why yearly vision screenings, whether a child has had vision problems or not, are vital to their health.
Following along for important back-to-school eye health tips to assure your child is ready to see this school year:
- Routine eye exams – Regular eye exams are crucial to your child’s overall health. When your child’s vision is unclear, they can face health problems, and their grades can also negatively affect them.
- Eat healthy foods – I’m sure you’ve heard that carrots are suitable for your eye health, but they are not the only food that helps keep your eyes healthy. Other foods such as tuna and salmon, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, and leafy greens like spinach and kale are all excellent in aiding healthy vision.
- Have Open communication – Be mindful of your child’s vision by picking up on if they squint when they try to read. Parents can also ask their children if they can see the board from their desk or if their vision seems blurry. It is essential to have an open line of communication with your child and encourage them to speak up when they feel something is wrong.
- Stay active – Believe it or not, staying physically active plays a significant role in a child’s vision. Children who do not stay active are at risk for diabetes and other health conditions that can hinder their vision, leading to other diseases and conditions.
- Set screen time limitations – Be sure that your child has screen time breaks, regardless of the type of device to recharge their eyes. Making this a habit will protect your child’s vision for the long haul.
- Use eye protection – Many eye injuries can be prevented by using eye protective gear, whether participating in an activity or playing sports.
- Use sunglasses – Although spending time outdoors has many benefits; it’s important to remember that harmful UV rays are lingering. Wearing sunglasses will aid in the protection of your child’s eyes.
Symptoms to Look Out For
There are many reasons why your child’s eyes may be bothered. Make sure you know what symptoms to look out for and when it’s time to call their pediatrician. Some symptoms include:
- Blinking and rubbing of the eyes: These symptoms are usually related to a foreign eye object irritating. Blinking and rubbing may also be attributed to allergies, stress, and anxiety. If your child is excessively blinking for a long time, please contact their doctor immediately.
- Dilated eyes: It is not uncommon for children to have larger pupils, especially if they have light-colored eyes. While certain medical conditions can cause pupils to dilate, keep a close eye on them.
- Discharge in eyes: While discharge in the eyes is a common sign of pink eye, this is not always the case. Blocked tear ducts can also be attributed to discharge in the eyes.
When to Call the Pediatrician
Do not be reluctant to call your child’s pediatrician if you have questions or concerns regarding their eye health. SuraMed Health Center is here for you and your children. Please visit our website to find a location nearest to you.