It’s September, and that means one thing – it’s back to school! A time for parents to rejoice and kids to lament (until they get back in to the swing of things, of course). As you tick off all the things your kids needs for school, don’t forget to focus on their eyes. Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Kids can’t learn what they can’t see. So with that in mind here’s our best back to school eye care tips for you to learn and to teach your kids.
BOOK A ROUTINE EYE EXAM
Oftentimes your child won’t even know they have an eye problem until it’s properly diagnosed. There are many telltale signs your child may have a vision problem, including squinting, rubbing their eyes frequently, complaining of headaches, and sitting too close to the computer or television screen. Problems with your children’s vision can be detected through a routine eye exam. The American Optometric Association recommends that infants have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade – at about age 5 or 6. It’s very important to correct these vision problems, particularly nearsightedness or farsightedness, before they create unnecessary discomfort or potential learning difficulties.
GOOD HYGIENE HABITS
Every year millions of school days are missed because of the spread of infectious diseases, including the common cold and the flu. Pinkeye is another disease which poses a particular risk to school children. Remind your kids to wash their hands regularly and avoid touching their eyes as much as possible.
Most eye injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related. Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. Ensure your kids always wear protective eyewear, such as goggles or a eye/face shield, when playing sports. In addition, have your kids wear sunglasses to protect their eye from the sun’s ultra violet (UV) rays. Over time, UV exposure can damage eye health and lead to the early development of cataracts. Buy sunglasses that offer 100% UV A and B protection.
School is a lot of work, and it’s primarily visual learning. Over time, this can cause eye strain, headaches, blurred vision or even nearsightedness. Encourage your kids to give their eyes a rest. Teach them the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away. Try and minimise glare when viewing computer screens and tell them to blink often, as this is an easy and effective way to combat the problem of dry eyes.
FALL FASHION EYEWEAR
Do your research and find out what’s new in eyewear for your kids this fall. Kids eyewear now follows the adult fashion, and there are a lot of styles to choose from. New kids eyewear brands are emerging with glasses that really allow them to showcase their personality while remaining stylish. Keep in mind, however, the technical considerations for fitting and maintaining your kids’ eyewear. Most kids who need corrective eyewear are either nearsighted or farsighted, and can require eyeglasses or contact lenses on a full or part-time basis. Style is important, but safety and utility must always come first.
With over 50 years experience, and offering Kelowna’s largest selection of eyewear, iSight Optometry is the premier optometrist in the Okanagan Valley. Send your kids back to school safe and in style, and visit our store to view our extensive collection of specs for kids of all ages. Combining grown-up designs with fresh and fun styling, our frames offer up distinctive looks to suit every personality.