Protecting Your Child’s Eye Health

Posted on 08/22/2018

Your child's eyesight is precious. From infancy to their teen years, you want to protect them from harm, and that includes preserving healthy vision. Good vision can help your child focus in school and safely enjoy sports and other hobbies. Act early and educate yourself and your kids about eye safety.

Dean McGee Eye Institute’s newest pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Maria Lim, recommends monitoring your child’s vision and practicing healthy eye care.

"Parents have an opportunity to help their child understand the importance protecting their eyes with safety glasses when participating in certain sports and activities,” Dr. Lim says. “Maintaining good overall health with a balanced diet and exercise helps in the long term."

If you notice a problem in vision, speak up

Signs of Vision Problem in Infants and Toddlers

In infants and toddlers, eyes might be crossed or turned out. In either case, make an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist to see if your child has a condition called Amblyopia (or Lazy Eye.) It can be treated with eye drops or temporarily wearing an eye patch. Without treatment, permanent vision loss occurs. Also, take note of any unusual clouding or discoloration in your child’s pupils, discharge, or redness.

Signs of Vision Problems in Children and Teens

Does your child strain to look at the screen during movies or have a hard time reading the blackboard in class? When they read, do they put the book abnormally far away or close to their face? This might indicate near- or far-sightedness. Older children may tell you they can’t see far away or near–or they may strain and rub their eyes often. Don’t wait for a vision exam at school–if you notice a potential problem, it’s time to make an appointment with your eye doctor.

Regardless of age, accidents can happen. In case of an eye accident, be ready to act quickly. If your child complains of intense eye pain or you notice an abnormal discoloration or abrasion on the eyes, immediately take your child to the ER.

For more information, contact Dean McGee Eye Institute

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