Arguably one of our most valuable senses is eyesight, because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. We have found a very helpful infographic about family eye care and put together a mini guide, All You Need to Know About Children’s Eyecare:
Be Aware of Family Eye History
It’s good to have discussions if possible with older members of our family about any eye conditions that could be hereditary. Certain problems with eyesight are directly related to conditions that are already present within older generations that could be passed onto our offspring.
So being aware of these means you can at least watch out for things occurring or plan to get checks done in the future if there is a family history of problems.
I always say I inherited one eye from my Dad who wears glasses and one from my Mum who doesn’t!
At birth, there is a routine exam that happens immediately that is meant to recognize any obvious or out of place disorders.
As newborn eyes are only about 70% developed, they cannot focus on objects more than 10 inches away from their face. Also, infants’ eyes are not well-coordinated and can appear crossed.
Tips for helping visual development in babies
- have a range of brightly coloured toys to play with
- keep toys within their range of focus
- play hide and seek with them – this helps them develop visual memory
- talk to them as you move or use toys
The First Baby Eye Exam
The first eye exam should take place at age 6 months. The optometrist will look at the baby’s eye movement ability, check for eye health problems and see if there is any excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness or astimagtism.
Parents should also be aware of watching this development occur themselves and respond immediately to any type of irregularity.
Early Eye Care for Kids
Because vision development is most active until age 12, your child should have a comprehensive vision exam every 2 years.
Do check with your child’s school to see what the typical schedule is for eye checks but be aware that while eye exams at school can help, they can also miss problems, so an optometrist visit will be more in-depth.
Adolescent Eye Care
Vision can change frequently during adolescence, so tweens and teens should still have regular eye exams.
The most common issue is myopia or nearsightedness, for example, my teen has glasses to be able to see the board at school, because she started to complain that she couldn’t see in class.
It’s important that kids can see well in school because up to 80% of all learning for children occurs through their eyes.
Also many kids today use screens to study, so be aware of how long they have been on in case of eye strain.
And if they play a sport at school that could potentially mean eye injuries then ask their coach or school what precautions are taken or what eye gear is available if you are concerned. After all we’re used to kids in the swimming pool wearing goggles!
When it comes to protecting the entire family from eye-related problems, injuries and diseases, there’s more information on the infographic below, “From Cradle To Cataracts: Eye Care For The Whole Family.” Even pets are included!
Over to you now. Did you find this useful? Any tips to share about children’s eyecare? Tell us in the comments below.