Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
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Preventing Vision Impairments in Children

August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month with the National Eye Institute. To ensure your child avoids vision problems during their learning and development, it’s important to pay attention to any signs at an early age.

Blindness, a vision impairment, is a preventable outcome. If your child has an uncorrected vision problem, the ability for them to view the world and reach their highest potential dwindles. The quickest way to understand your child’s eye health is to schedule an eye exam when they are 1 year or younger. As they age, pay attention to movements when they do homework, watch TV, or read. Are they rubbing their eyes constantly? Are they sitting closer to the TV or putting the book closer to their face? Do they have a new sensitivity to light?

Finding these common vision problems quickly will help them to grow more confident and perform more positively at school.

Here are some common vision problems in children:

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)

  • Nearsightedness: blurry vision far away

  • Farsightedness: blurry vision nearby

  • Astigmatism: cornea or lens has a different shape

  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)

  • Convergence insufficiency

If your child is squinting more frequently and proclaims to have headaches after school, then scheduling a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor is recommended.

Eye exams at an early age and throughout life development ensure a healthy vision long-term.

There are a few ways to encourage your child’s healthy vision starting now:

  • Exercise regularly: Children who exercise more often are less likely to develop diabetes and other conditions that lead to vision problems.

  • Listen to them: Pay attention to their headaches and squinting tendencies.

  • Encourage healthy eating: Fruits, veggies, leafy greens, and fish (salmon or tuna) are known to help develop a healthy eyesight.

  • Wear sunglasses: Never allow them to look directly at the sun, the cornea can be burnt.

  • Wear prescription glasses (if applicable): Glasses or contact lenses help them see day-to-day, so be sure to encourage your children to wear them.

  • Limit screen-time: Encourage your child to get outdoors instead of being glued to a tablet (near-vision activity), the far-vision activities will help develop a better eyesight overall.

  • Wear protective eyewear: If your child plays sports, be sure to grab them a pair of protective eyewear to help them avoid other serious eye injuries.

  • Quality sleep: Not only is sleep necessary for a child’s overall development, sleep helps the eye heal after a full day of encountering dry air or pollutants.




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