Children's Eye Health and Safety:
How You Can Protect Your Child's Vision

August is National Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, and with the new school year and kid's sports programs once again starting, this month is a great time for parents to focus on their children's vision and overall eye health. Ensuring your child has a vision/eye health evaluation will help kids perform well in the classroom and also on the sports field. To see well is to learn well and this month, parents can help their children maintain healthy vision and set habits for life by providing them with the necessary ocular and overall health screening that an annual eye examination provides.

Before heading back to the classroom, parents should have their child's annual eye exam performed by an optometrist to make sure there is not a need for spectacle correction. Many school screenings will miss about 50% of kids who have a need for glasses whereas the annual exam not only checks for vision need but screens overall health as well. Parents should be aware that children who are experiencing vision problems often show symptoms such as headaches, squinting, covering an eye, difficulty judging distances and poor academic or sports performance.

Children who play sports often "suit up" for the big game or practice with shin guards, helmets and shoulder pads. But, there is one sensitive area of the body that is often forgotten when preparing for competition - the eyes. Seventy percent of eye injuries occur from flying objects like balls, bats and elbows. Recreational spectacles, or Rec Specs, are the recommended eyewear for children who play contact sports of any kind. Rec Specs are designed with durable frames and will be filled with impact resistant, prescription or non-prescription lenses and sunglass or transition lenses. Even children who do not play sports can benefit from a durable frame such as a Flexon frame which is made with a super flexible material and can withstand the normal bending seen when falling asleep on the school bus or even being sat on in the classroom. All spectacle lenses for children that are filled at Visionworks are impact resistant regardless if your child wears spectacles for school or for sports. If your child is 13 or younger, Visionworks will provide these impact resistant lenses free of charge.

UV protection is also an important consideration for kids. Children's eyes are very susceptible to UV damage and long term exposure to UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and skin cancer around the eyelids down the road. Since UV exposure is cumulative, sunglasses are a great way to protect eyes from harmful rays. Also, if your child is fitted with contact lenses, brands carried at Visionworks offer UV protection that is vital for playing outdoors.

Throughout the month of August, educate yourself and your children on the importance of eye health and safety. Prevention is the key, so please visit your local Visionworks store for a comprehensive eye examination with one of our affiliated Doctors.

Nothing on this web site is intended, nor should it be construed, as professional advice. Those reviewing the information should consult with a qualified professional.