Back-to-School Eye Health

What parents need to know about children's eye health

(RxWiki News) Parents are always on the lookout for their children's health, from diet and exercise to vaccines and fevers. But sometimes, it's easy to forget the health concerns that are right in front of your eyes.

It's important to take some time to make sure their eye and vision health needs are covered.

Here's what you need to know.

Does My Child Need an Eye Exam?

According to the American Optometric Association, the answer is yes. Vision can change quickly for children. And if their vision gets worse, they can start to have trouble in school and sports.

The good news is that most vision problems in children can easily be corrected.

How Often Should a Child Have Their Eyes Checked?

Getting your child's vision checked each year before school starts is a good idea, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This is in line with recommendations from the American Optometric Association.

However, even if school has already started, it's not too late to schedule an eye exam. The reasoning behind the back-to-school eye exam recommendation is simply to catch any vision problems before your child begins the school year, where they will need to be able to see and focus well.

It is important to note vision screening is not a comprehensive exam. If your child passes a vision screening, it is still recommended they receive a comprehensive eye examination. 

What Are the Signs of Vision Problems in Kids?

A doctor can quickly detect vision problems in children during routine eye exams, but parents may be able to see some signs before the exam.

Lazy eyes, crossed eyes and drooping eyelids are signs of potential vision problems that are relatively easy to spot. But there are some smaller signs to look out for, too:

  • Excessive blinking, squinting and tearing of the eyes when your child is trying to see something
  • Avoiding reading
  • Complaints of discomfort in the classroom or similar settings
  • Tilting of the head to one side
  • Headaches
  • Rubbing the eyes frequently
  • Covering one eye when trying to see something

If you notice any of these issues or have any other concerns about your child's vision, reach out to your child's health care provider.