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August is Children's Eye Health & Safety Month

August 12th 2019

Did you know that August is Children's Eye Health & Safety Month? 

A childs' eyes can change rapidly, so it is important to have their eyes examined by an optometrist every year! Luckily, Alberta Health Care covers annual eye exams for children until their 19th birthday!

An optometrist can help detect refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism as well as the following diseases:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Ptosis (drooping of the eyelid)
  • Color deficiency (color blindness)
Keeping your children’s eyes safe is another part of maintaining healthy vision. Eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children. Help prevent your child from being one of the more than 12 million children who suffer from vision impairment by remembering a few basic rules of safety:
  • All children should wear protective eyewear while participating in sports or recreational activities
  • Purchase age-appropriate toys for your children and avoid toys with sharp or protruding parts
Children should have an eye exam at 6 months, and then annually after that. Once they start school, annual exams become even more important. About 80% of what children learn in school is taught visually, which means if a child has an undetected and uncorrected vision problem, it will affect the child’s development and performances in school. Some warning signs that your child may be experiences vision problems are:
  • Tilting the head or squinting to see the class board better or when watching TV
  • Frequent eye rubbing when he’s trying to concentrate on something.
  • Holding a book too close to his eyes or often sitting close to the TV.
  • Consistently using his fingers to guide his eyes when reading.
  • Closing one eye to read or watch TV.
  • Excessive tearing without any tear-causing stimuli.
  • Eye discomfort when using a computer or any digital device i.e digital eye strain.
  • Sensitivity to light, which sometimes accompanied by headache or nausea.
  • Wandering eyes.
Aside from keeping a watchful eye for some of the warning signs listed above, protect your child from eye injuries by ensuring your children’s toys are age-appropriate and not a danger to their eyes. Check if your child’s toys or stuffies are free of sharp or protruding parts that could accidentally poke the eyes. Fireworks are also detrimental to your child’s safety, as it can cause blindness if not handled correctly.

We hope you all enjoy the last remaining weeks of summer cool

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