Summertime is right around the corner, which means children everywhere are getting ready for swimming and fun outdoors. Summer is in full swing during June, as is Child Vision Awareness Month. Why? This is a time when children (and adults) can sustain eye damage from the sun, summer injuries, and bacteria in public places. Children’s eyes can get infections from germs, allergies, public pools and more. Not wearing protective eyewear during sports and while being outside in the sun can also damage eyesight. Find ways to protect your child’s eyesight during the summer in these situations and more!
Your child’s vision doesn’t just develop during the first year of life. They actually take the full first 10 years of life to develop completely. However, the first year is one of the most important as depth perception, eye coordination, color vision, vision clarity and more develops. The infant years, pre-school time and early school-age are all times when different vision development happens. These are also the years where refractive errors with the eyes are best detected, as vision problems can be corrected or treated before they worsen. Catching vision problems early can help prevent a misdiagnosis of ADHD or ADD, which commonly happens.
In some cases of children diagnosed with these conditions, the problem is actually found to be vision issues. Because of the lack of vision clarity or the eyes not focusing, a child cannot read boards or lessons in school, leaving them at risk for medical misdiagnosis and falling behind their classmates. That is why Child Vision Awareness Month is so important!
Optimal vision allows your child to develop the best they can and to succeed while they are in school and developing their minds. Over time, the brain learns to interpret vision, colors and their environment much like the brain learns speech and motor skills. Children are not exempt from vision problems at a young age, so it’s vital that your child has frequent vision exams to monitor their development. It’s also important that you take note of how they act when reading or focusing on objects so that you can detect issues early.
If your child’s eyes are free from vision problems, you want to keep it that way! Make sure your child always has ample light to read in so the eyes aren’t straining to see. Limit how often they are sitting close to screens, like a TV or a phone in their face. Get frequent eye exams to make sure their vision is not changing.
Sports often bring eye injuries to young children because many parents don’t realize that sports can be a risk because of a child’s age. However, studies show that mouth and eye injuries happen to many thousands of children every single year during sports. This usually comes from balls being kicked up into faces, even in very young children that play sports. Eye injuries can happen at any time from sports or from chemicals coming in contact with the eyes, objects being thrown or particles coming in contact with the eyes (like sand from a sandbox). When your child plays, have them wear protective glasses or goggles if the sport or activity has them. Eye protection may not always be needed, but have it with you just in case.
Most parents want their children to succeed and do as well as possible in school, sports and extracurricular activities. Having good vision is essential for doing well at these things. Your child’s eyes are incredibly important for how well they will do in school and at play. However, vision changes or challenges can be quite hard to detect in young children, as the child may not realize they are seeing different than others. Take note of problems such as sitting too close to objects like the tv or a book, problems focusing or staying on task, eye tearing, rubbing the eyes frequently, unfocused eyes and more.
Whether or not you notice vision problems in your child, it’s always smart to schedule an eye exam to make sure your child is on track for healthy, developing vision. To schedule their eye exam, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!