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Published On: Sat, Aug 3rd, 2013

August is children’s eye health and safety month

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend that your child’s pediatrician  or family doctor conduct periodic eye screening examinations at well child visits, according to a press release from Philadelphia-based Wills Eye Institute.

Image/Pawdugan

Image/Pawdugan

If a specific vision problem or other concern is detected then referral should be made to an eye doctor. Seeing a pediatric ophthalmology specialist may also be needed for children who are very premature, have developmental disabilities, misaligned eyes (strabismus), lazy eye, near- or farsightedness and those with family histories of congenital cataracts, childhood eye cancer or other genetic diseases.

The first ten years of your child’s life are the most important years for the brain to learn how to effectively use the eyes. Many of these eye problems can be treated and resolved if caught early.

“As a result of vision problems, children can often fall behind in their school work or even become labeled with behavioral problems. If you have concerns about your child’s vision or any other aspect of their eyes, seek the opinion of a pediatric ophthalmologist before school issues occur” said Dr. Alex V. Levin, MD, MHSc, Chief of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Ocular Genetics at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. “Also, don’t forget appropriate protective eyewear for sports!”

The Wills Eye Institute offers the following things to look for in your child and questions parents should ask:

Know the signs that your child may be having a vision problem:

  • Difficulty seeing the blackboard at school
  • Rubbing their eyes a lot, red eyes, eye pain
  • Not interested in reading
  • Squinting
  • In pictures, child’s pupil looks transparent or milky white rather than a reddish color. Or if one pupil looks different than the other

Questions you should be asking yourself as a parent:

  • Does my child seem to see well?
  • Does my child hold objects close to his or her face when trying to focus?
  • Do the eyes appear straight or seem to drift, cross or seem lazy?
  • Do the eyes look unusual in any way?
  • Does one eyelid droop or tend to close?
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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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