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Spotting Vision Problems in Children

The end of summer is a good time to look out for your child’s eyesight.

Because of their lifestyle, children are more exposed to the light than adults. On average, children’s average UV exposure is 3 times higher than adults. Their big, bright eyes are not fully developed, so they are more likely affected by the harmful effects of UV and blue-violet light

Good, clear vision is essential for academic success, physical development and overall well-being. When a child is experiencing vision problems, he or she is more likely to have trouble concentrating, completing schoolwork, and can get headaches that can impact their mood. Vision problems are a huge academic effect. If your child can’t see what the teacher has on the board, they can’t do well in school.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than 15% of preschool children get an eye exam and less than 22% receive a vision screening.

Many vision problems have no obvious symptoms and children typically aren’t able to articulate the problem. So, no matter how old your child is, it’s important to talk to them about possible issues. Here are 8 tips on how you can spot potential eye problems:

  1. Frequent squinting
  2. Looking out one eye
  3. Tilting head to one side to see
  4. Frequent headaches
  5. Eye turning in or out, or “lazy” eye
  6. Holding reading materials too close to face
  7. Losing their place when reading
  8. Avoids reading or has difficulty reading

Alternatively, there are many things you can do to help protect your child’s vision health:

  • Children, teens, even toddlers, should wear sun glasses
  • Make sure they are not looking too closely at the TV or mobile screens
  • Limit screen time to no more than 60 minutes a day
  • Ensure good lighting for close-up work
  • Eat green veggies like broccoli, kale and spinach. Blueberries and cantaloupe can help keep the retina healthy, and fish and omega 3s can help dry eyes

Talk to your child’s pediatrician or an optometrist about his or her vision health. To schedule an eye exam for your child, call or text 866.682.4842

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