Special Care for Students’ Eyes
By this point in the year, most children are settling into a new routine in the classroom. It may feel as though, just weeks ago, you were rushing to purchase back backs and load them with school books. During the busy-ness of the new school year getting underway, you may have forgotten one important point: your child’s vision and eye health.
It’s difficult to keep up with all of the tasks of parenting school-aged children. If eye exams were not a part of your back-to-school planning, we invite you to give us a call. Our friendly team can assist you with your family’s eye care needs. Because students have specific needs for optimal well-being, we offer a few suggestions on how to meet them.
But first, about those eye exams.
Children may be affected by many of the same refractive errors as adults. They can be nearsighted, which could prevent them from seeing their teacher’s demonstrations at the front of the classroom. A child may be farsighted, too, which could inhibit their ability to read or absorb information from textbooks. It is beneficial for a child to have a routine eye exam before entering elementary school. After that, exams can take place every year to two years.
Academic success, as well as success in sports and other extracurricular activities, is highly dependent on a child’s ability to see clearly. Studies have demonstrated a correlation between poor eyesight and poor grades. As a result of the learning challenges presented by vision problems, a child’s excitement about learning may decline significantly.
Eye Protection for Students
Students have particular risks for:
- Eye infection. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is a highly contagious condition that can spread through the air and also by touching an object previously handled by someone with the eye infection. Hand-washing is an excellent habit for children to learn to reduce their risk of contact with the virus that causes conjunctivitis.
- Sports injuries. Each year, about 35,000 eye injuries result from a sporting collision of some sort. Protective eyewear should be a priority for every student-athlete. If a helmet does not have a mounted shield, consider purchasing one that does. As an alternative, goggles or clear glasses for sports can be worn.
- Sun damage. It isn't only sunburning that we need to protect children from; ultraviolet light can also degrade the structures that support long-term eye health. Sunglasses for children filter a high percentage of UV light to protect internal structures.
- Eye strain. Reading for extended periods can cause the eyes to become fatigued. Throw on our major love of screen-time, and you will see why so many kids are suffering from headaches, sore and dry eyes, and other problems. The eyes need to be pampered to overcome these effects. Teach children to put down their phones and other devices for some time every day, and to close their eyes for a few minutes when they feel dry and irritated.
Do you have questions about eye exams for children or yourself? Contact our Houston office at (713) 668-7337. We’re here to help you.