Children’s Vision Care is Essential to Every Child’s Development.
The healthy development of your child’s eye’s and vision is critical to their well being. Your child should have an eye examination every year. A routine eye exam will help with the early detection of vision problems and eye diseases. At Eyes On Missouri we have 3 convenient locations to make scheduling an eye exam easy.
CHILDREN’S EYE EXAMS
Annual eye examinations are particularly important given that 5% to 10% of preschoolers and 25% of other students have undiagnosed vision problems. Finding vision problems and eye diseases early is very valuable because children are much more responsive to early intervention and treatment when problems occur.
The chart below from the American Optometric Association shows the recommended milestones for eye examinations.
In the states of Missouri and Illinois, children entering kindergarten or enrolling for the first time in public, private, or parochial elementary school are required to have a comprehensive eye exam preformed by an Optometrist or Ophthalmologist. This law came into effect on January 1, 2008.
HOW TO SPOT EYE PROBLEMS
Below are some of the signs that may indicate that your child has a vision problem. Monitor your child for evidence of poor vision. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined by an eye care professional so the problem doesn’t become worse or permanent.
- Constant eye rubbing
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Poor focusing
- Poor visual tracking (following an object)
- Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
- Chronic redness of the eyes
- Chronic tearing of the eyes
- A white pupil instead of black
- Crossed eyes
If your child is already in school, some signs of vision problems may include the following.
- Inability to see objects at a distance
- Inability to read the blackboard
- Difficulty reading
- Sitting too close to the TV
If caught early, eye conditions often can be reversed.
Does your child wear eyeglasses? Below are a few tips to help you as a parent and your child with the change.
- Allow your child to pick out their own eyeglass frame.
- Plastic eyeglass frames are usually best for children.
- At Crown Vision Center we recommend that all children wear polycarbonate lenses or “kid safe” lens. These lenses are especially recommended for kids who are extremely active and play sports. Polycarbonate is a tough, shatter-resistant lens that is thinner, lighter than regular, plastic CR-39 lenses.
- For children with higher prescriptions, we recommend purchasing lenses called high-index, which are thinner and lighter than standard polycarbonate lenses.
- Children’s young eyes are sensitive to bright sun light. That’s why it’s just as important to make sure their vision is protected when outdoors. Crown Vision Center recommends Transitions Lenses as a method to protect your child’s eyes when outdoors. Transitions lenses are photochromic. They remain clear indoors, making it easy for kids to function in the classroom. However, when outdoors they automatically adjust to a tinted lens (similar to sunglass lenses). These lenses make it easier for kids to see better while considerably reducing squinting, eye strain and eye fatigue.
- If your child is older and wears metal frames, make sure they have spring hinges. The spring hinges are durable and are suggested for active children.
- Attaching an elastic strap to the ear pieces of eyeglasses will help keep your child’s eyeglasses in place, especially for toddlers.
Around age 10, your child may express a desire to get contact lenses for cosmetic reasons or the convenience they offer while playing sports. Parents should know that contact lenses require a lot of responsibility. Poor habits and bad hygiene are almost always the cause of complications with contact lenses. There are 3 major compliance factors to take into consideration when allowing a child to wear contacts:
- Can the child insert and remove the lenses properly.
- Will the child take the lenses out as required on a regular basis.
- Will the child clean and or replace them as recommended by the doctor.