Most of us are familiar with the importance of regular visits to the eye doctor as an adult, but when it comes to children, healthy vision is even more critical. At this time, your child is starting to learn about the world around them. With August being Child Eye Health and Safety Month, not to mention back-to-school season, our team at Logan Eye Care thought it would be the perfect time to offer a refresher on how to keep your kids’ eyes and vision healthy.
The Importance of Eye Exams for Kids
Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at the age of eight. During the exam, Dr. Logan can detect refractive errors including near- and farsightedness, as well as astigmatism and other conditions like lazy eye, crossed eyes, color blindness and drooping eyelids.
Exams early in a child’s life can help identify vision problems before they become severe. Parents can also learn about how to protect their children’s eye health. Unless Dr. Logan suggests otherwise, kids should continue to have regular eye exams every two years, even once they begin school and undergo visual screenings.
Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Kids
Whether you have already taken your child for their first eye exam or not, It is important to observe the way your kids use their vision in their everyday tasks. Looking out for these warning signs can help you spot possible vision problems and address them before they worsen.
Sitting too close to the TV
When you can’t quite make something out on a sheet of paper, what do you do? You bring it closer to your face. Children do this too when they are having a hard time seeing. Potential signs of vision problems are sitting very close to the TV and/or the board at school.
Squinting and other signs of physical discomfort
Other common physical signs that may indicate vision problems in children include squinting while reading, eye rubbing, light sensitivity and head tilting. While these may all be part of normal behavior at times, they can also indicate your child is struggling to see clearly.
Low attention span or lack of interest
While an inability to focus without becoming distracted can often be a sign of an attention deficit problem, these symptoms can also be present when a child has trouble seeing. In these cases, kids might lose interest in activities that put demand on their eyesight, like reading, coloring, puzzles and more.
Taking the First Trip to the Eye Doctor
No child likes a trip to the doctor. From cold stethoscopes to sharp needles, doctor’s offices can inflict an instant sense of fear and dread in kids of all ages, and even some adults.
When the time comes to take your child for their first eye doctor exam, take the weeks or days leading up to the appointment to warm your little one up to the idea of seeing the optometrist. You can do this by explaining where you are taking them and why, reading stories where characters visit their eye doctors and describing some of the things they might have to do during the exam, like looking at letters and telling the doctor what they see.
It is never too early to start thinking about eye health, especially when it comes to your little ones. If you are ready to schedule your children’s first eye exam, our team at Logan Eye Care can help make it a positive, fun experience for you and your kids.