- Prairie Eye Care
Ultimate Guide To Children’s Eye Care & Health
Updated: Oct 19, 2022
Raising a child is not easy and comes with many challenges, and ensuring their eye health is one of them. Don't wait too long to start caring for your children's eyesight!
Do you have any questions about your children’s vision that you haven’t been able to find the answers to? This ultimate guide will provide you with everything you should know. We’ll discuss common eye problems in children, how to protect their vision, and when it’s time for an eye exam or to visit the children’s optometrist.
So whether you’re a new parent just starting to worry about your child’s eyesight or an older one with grown-up kids, read on for some essential information.
How Increased Screen Time Affects Kids Vision
What effect does increased screen time actually have on children's vision? Is watching TV, playing computer games and surfing the net bad for their eyesight or not? Are there any steps you can take to ensure your child’s eyes aren't damaged by the extended use of a computer or tablet?
Children today spend much more time in front of a screen than any previous generation. Computer games, smartphones and tablets are now the main source of entertainment for kids all over the world.
The biggest problem with increased screen time is that it can cause your child to develop what doctors call “computer vision syndrome” or CVS. Symptoms include blurry vision, sensitivity to light, headaches and neck pain. Children suffering from computer vision syndrome often need glasses to help them see clearly.
So, just how many hours a week should my child spend in front of the TV? How much time on the computer is too much? And what can I do to ensure their eyes are protected when they’re using a screen?
There is no exact and definitive answer to this question as the amount of harmful screen time varies from child to child. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting children's total screen time, including TV, computer games, smartphones and tablets, to two hours a day.
If your child spends more than two hours a day in front of a screen, you should try to break that up into shorter periods. For example, allow them one hour of screen time in the morning and one hour in the evening.
Common Vision Problems in Children
Parents should be aware of children's most common vision problems, as they can often lead to permanent vision loss if not treated early.
Though most vision problems can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, it is important to have your child’s eyes checked by an optometrist. Some common vision problems in children include:
This occurs when a child can see objects clearly close-up but has difficulty seeing objects far away. Nearsightedness is often caused by the eyeball being too long or the cornea being too curved.
This occurs when a child can see objects clearly that are far away but has difficulty seeing objects that are close up. Farsightedness is often caused by the eyeball being too short or the cornea not being curved enough.
This occurs when the eye's curvature is not perfectly round, which can cause blurred vision.
Amblyopia (lazy eye):
This is a condition where one eye has poorer vision than the other eye, even though both eyes appear to be normal. Amblyopia is often caused by one eye being weaker than the other or having a different prescription in each eye.
Strabismus (crossed eyes):
This occurs when the eyes are not properly aligned with each other, which can cause double vision. Strabismus is often caused by muscle weakness or misalignment of the eyes. This can also lead to serious vision problems if not treated early.
If your child is experiencing any of these vision problems, it is crucial to have them checked by an optometrist as soon as possible.
Are Children Prone to Eye Strain Too? How to Prevent It
Eye strain is terrible and causes headaches and other hurtful things. But it's not just for adults! Children are prone to eye strain, too, especially when doing homework or playing with gadgets like tablets and smartphones. Make sure that your children take breaks from looking at screens, so their eyes don't get hurt.
Here are some tips to help ease your children's eyestrain and keep their eyes healthy and comfortable:
Make sure your child takes frequent breaks during extended periods of reading or using a computer. Have them take a few minutes to rest their eyes and do some light exercises.
Ensure that your child's workspace is properly lit. Too much or too little light can cause eye strain.
Encourage your child to wear sunglasses when outside on bright days. The sun's UV rays can damage the eyes over time.
Make sure your child's eyeglasses prescription is up-to-date. Corrective lenses can help alleviate eye strain and improve vision.
Children should have their eyes examined by an eye care specialist every year or two, even if they don't need glasses yet.
When Should I Take My Child for Their First Eye Exam?
Most parents take their children for their first pediatric check-up shortly after they are born. This is a good time to discuss any health concerns with the pediatrician and to establish a relationship with a doctor who will care for your child's health for years to come. But when should you take your child for their first eye exam?
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), children should have their first eye examination by the age of six months. Many vision problems, such as lazy eyes, can be corrected if they are caught early. Children who do not have an eye exam by the age of six months may be at risk for developing vision problems later in life.
If you are concerned about your children's eye health, you should take them to see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Children who are showing signs of a vision problem may benefit from early intervention, even if they are not yet six months old.
Signs to watch out for include:
Squinting or closing an eye when looking at something up close or in the distance
Refusing to look at objects that are close to the face or in their vicinity
Turning their head in an odd way when trying to see something up close or far away
Tilting their head back and forth while looking at things, especially if it's accompanied by a hand movement (like covering one eye)
Blinking excessively, even when there isn't anything in their eye
Turning away from bright lights or preferring dim lighting over bright lighting
Frequently rubbing their eyes or holding them closed for no apparent reason.
Importance of Eye Exams for Your Kid
As a parent, you want to make sure that your child has the best life possible. One thing that many parents don't think about is children's eye care. Just like adults, children should have their eyes checked regularly to ensure they see properly and that there are no problems.
Your children's eye health is extremely important, and regular pediatric eye exams are essential in ensuring they maintain healthy vision. In addition to detecting vision problems, eye exams can also help detect other health problems in children.
For example, It can detect signs of diabetes or hypertension. So parents need to make sure their children get regular eye exams, not just to ensure good vision but also to ensure good overall health.
Vision With Children With Disabilities
Vision is one of the most important senses a child has. A child’s ability to see clearly is crucial in their development and success in life. Unfortunately, some children are born with disabilities that can impact their vision.
Children with disabilities can have different eyesight problems than other kids. It may be hard for them to see, or they might not see at all. They may need a special eye test, glasses or contact lenses.
If your child has a disability that impacts their vision, it is vital to work with an optometrist specializing in children’s eye care to create a treatment plan.
Reasons Why Prairie Eye Care Should Be Your Child’s Optometrists
If you're looking for a Children's optometrist, look no further than Prairie Eye Care! We offer various services to help keep your child's eyes healthy and strong. Here are a few reasons why Prairie Eye Care should be your go-to Children's optometrist:
We have a wide selection of eyewear to choose from, ensuring that your child will find a pair of glasses that they love.
We provide comprehensive eye exams, which can detect problems with your child's vision early on.
We have a friendly and knowledgeable staff who will make your child feel comfortable during their visit.
We understand that children’s eye health is essential for their development, so we take extra care to ensure your child’s healthy vision. If you think your child need assistance with their eyesight, book an appointment today!
Don't Put It Off; Keep an Eye on Your Childs' Vision Health
Child eye care sounds like a scary topic, but it's not! There are many simple ways to protect the precious eyes of your child.
It's not too early to get serious about taking care of your child's vision health. In fact, many eye problems can be corrected or prevented if caught early on. That's why it's so crucial to keep track of your child's vision and take them for an eye exam as soon as they reach six months old. The earlier you start caring for their vision and eye health, the better off they will be later in life.
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