Dr. Jim Martin 08/05/2015

1778570_orig.pngKids probably don't think about their eye health during a busy, fun, or hectic school day. So, parents must reiterate how important it is to take steps to prevent eye infections or issues with a few simple steps passed on to our children.

Hand Washing

Every time hands go into kids' eyes, bacteria is transferred into the delicate and sensitive eye tissue. This could cause problems like pinkeye and other eye infections. Rubbing the eyes could also cause scratches on the eye. Kids must keep their hands clean to avoid these issues, or try to stay away from rubbing their eyes in the first place. If kids have frequently itchy eyes, this could be an allergy issue or an eye problem. Take your child to a doctor to have them examined and treated.

Televisions, Reading and Computers

Staring at screens can cause strain on the eyes. If your child needs to work on the computer at school, or read frequently, encourage your child to take a break every half hour to every hour to rest his or her eyes. Squinting, sitting too close to a screen, or staring at a book or computer for long periods of time can exhaust your child's eyes and contribute to eye issues.

Eye Protection

Kids are active every day, but in certain situations, eye protection is required. For sports like football, swimming and hockey, kids need to shield their eyes by wearing safety goggles. There are even situations at school where kids need eye protection (i.e. science class). Let your child know that in any situation where his or her eyes are at risk, protecting them is a wise idea and could prevent eye damage.

Yearly Eye Exams

The best way for parents to stay updated on their kids' vision health is by taking their children for yearly eye exams beginning at age 5, unless they show signs of problems before then. These symptoms include squinting, headaches, complaints of blurred vision or not being able to read books or see the blackboard, or sitting too closely in front of the computer or television to see better. Yearly eye exams keep tabs on your child's vision. Your optometrist will give you more suggestions on what parents and kids can do to contribute to eye health overall as well as prevention when it comes to eye issues.

Make sure your child gets an eye exam every year to maintain healthy vision and catch any problems. Schedule an appointment at Broome Optical in Amarillo this summer before your child returns to school.

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