Happy Vision Health Month. I can honestly say I have enjoyed writing this sponsored post for Think About Your Eyes, because I have learned so much about kids vision health and hopefully I can now help spread the word and help remind others to not forget about eyes. We can’t forget about our eyes, they are so important, and we are truly blessed to have them.
How much do you think about your kid’s vision health? Seriously, when was their last eye exam? At what age should you schedule their first eye exam? It’s easy to forget about eye exams because we don’t see the physical signs like we do when our children are sick. Unless your kids tell you something is wrong with their eyes, we might not realize they need glasses.
My daughter Vayda had to get glasses a few years back, which was honestly a shock to me. She never complained about not being able to see, but her teacher had her convinced she was falling asleep at the computer. Well come to find out she was NOT falling asleep at the computer, she was squinting because the computer hurt her eyes. I knew something was wrong the moment I saw her glaring and immediately got her an appointment with an Eye Care Professional. Needless to say I was upset with the teacher for jumping the gun and telling my child she was falling asleep at the computer and not calling me, but I was more upset with myself that my daughter was 6 years old and never had an eye exam. WOW, talk about a kick in the teeth!
I thought my kids were healthy when in fact Vayda was suffering from an eye problem that can be corrected because we caught it early enough. Thanks to ThinkAboutYourEyes.com and my personal experiences I’ve learned a lot about properly caring for my kid’s eyes, and I wanted to share some of my learnings with you so we can begin to educate parents about the importance of kid’s eye exams.
Things Every Parents Should Know About Kids Vision Health
Are eye exams essential to a child’s healthy checkup schedule?
Yes, our kids need to have an eye exam as part of their healthy checkup schedule. However, many don’t. According to a National Survey, two out of every five parents think an eye exam is important for a child’s healthy checkup. It’s roughly half as many who say an annual trip to the dentist (81%), and pediatrician (78%) are essential. Parents with kids over the age of 7 are more likely to say an eye exam is critical than parents with children 6 and younger (55% vs. 36% respectively.)
When should my children get their first eye exam by?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) by age six a child should have received at least four eye exams. However, 34% of parents haven’t taken heir child to see the eye doctor and about half (49%) if the child is under the age of 6.
What are the benefits of eye exams for young children?
Did you know that one in every four kids have some vision related condition, which can have an impact on their learning. Children need several visual skills for learning – near vision, distance vision, eye movement skills, focusing skills, eye/hand coordination, eye teaming skills, and peripheral skills.
Vision problems can be the reason kids suffer from other problems.
It’s scary to think children can be misdiagnosed with behavior issues such as ADHD, and the problem might be that they need a set of glasses. When Vayda was younger they wanted so badly to put her on medication because she had ADHD. Thankfully my husband and I wanted to try everything we could before putting her on medication for ADHD and come to find out all she needed was to see. Never once did she complain about her eyes because she didn’t even know she had an eye problem. You should have seen her little face when she got her first pair of glasses, she could finally see well. Yes, I feel like a horrible mom for not taking her earlier but I honestly never thought about it because of school screenings and we can’t physically see vision problems. Had I known, I would have taken her right away and now realize how important it is to think about our kid’s eyes, even when we don’t think there is a problem it’s better to be safe and know for sure.
School screenings are enough while kids are young, right?
It’s easy as a parent to trust the eye health screenings our children are getting at school, but I think some of you will be surprised to learn that school screenings are often not enough. As parents, we have to think about our kid’s eye health and take them to see an Eye Care Professional, especially since kid’s eyes handle about 80 percent of their total learning.
As parents, we can watch for signs of vision problems if we know what to look for.
There are a few symptoms and behaviors that can help you spot vision problems, if you know what you are looking for – avoiding and/or not liking to read, lots of blinking, rubbing of the eyes, short attention span, guiding. However, it’s still better to take your child to an Eye Care Professional to know for sure. If you’re not sure where to find one head over to ThinkAbourYourEyes.com and find one in your area.
My child will tell me when something is wrong…
Kids are very smart, and they can tell you when something is wrong, but that’s only when they recognize there is a problem. Kids often can’t explain vision problems because they don’t understand the problem.
Protect your kids eyes when exposed to UV Rays.
Since our children are often active outdoors, they receive more annual sun exposure than most adults. Kid’s eyes are much different than adults. A child’s ocular lenses can’t filter light to help prevent it from affecting their retinas as well as an adult’s eye can. The damage from unprotected exposure to UV rays can turn to eye diseases as well as other conditions that affect eye health.
Protecting Kid’s Eyes from Ultraviolet (UV) Rays is Easy, but there’s more to it than throwing a hat on.
Thankfully we can protect our children’s eyes from UV exposure with a pair of sunglasses to filter out UVA and UVB rays. The hardest part is keeping your children in them, but it’s worth it because the sunglasses protect their eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Wearing hats and staying in the shade can help, but it is not a substitute for a good pair sunglasses because UV rays often reflect off surfaces, and it’s can damage their eyes just the same.
TheVisionCouncil.org recommends choosing sunglasses that your kids like because you’ll have an easier time getting them to wear the sunglasses if they like the style and fit. My kids love going to the store with me and picking their sunglasses out, which works for me because they’ll wear sunglasses if they’re “cool”.
As parents it’s so very important that we remember to think about our kid’s eyes. Waking up and seeing the world is such a blessing. To learn more about kids vision health you can head over to ThinkAboutYourEyes.com and follow Think About Your Eyes onFacebook and Twitter.
Enter The Giveaway
Don’t forget the giveaway! One lucky person will win a prize package from ThinkAboutYourEyes.com with the following:
Eye Care Essentials
- Chelsea Morgan sunglasses from VisionWorks ($139)
- Computer glasses from Chemistrie ($65)
- Lens care kit from Hilco ($50)
- Eyeglass case
- Eyeglass holders
- Cleaner and cloth
Eye health kit from Alcon ($32)
- Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops
- Systane Balance Lubricant Eye Drops
- Systane Lid Wipes (for makeup removal)
- Zaditor Eye Drops (allergy)
We are being compensated by Think About Your Eyes for your participation in this campaign as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network.