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National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month: 3 Signs Your Child’s Eyes Need Examining

Summer 2022 is officially coming to a close as we begin the month of August. While there is still plenty of time to check off all of your summer to-dos this month with your children, we must also honor that August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Being a parent, it’s important to always stay up to date with your child’s health, regardless of the month. As unbelievable as it is, most parents struggle with their annual optometrist appointments simply due to the fact that it’s very hard to tell when your child is in need of eye care. If you find yourself in this situation, we’re here to help you. Here are three major signs your child’s vision needs some help.

Frequent Headaches

Although it’s no secret that headaches can be a direct result of eye strain, most parents tend to overlook them. If you find your child is frequently complaining about headaches, this may be your sign to go get their eyes checked by your local optometrist. It’s also important for a parent to carefully analyze the situation before jumping the gun. This is because headaches are common and could be caused by almost anything; but, paired with some of the other signs listed below, you should definitely give it your undivided attention. A great way to start the conversation about headaches with your child is by asking them when or if they’ve gotten one during school when they’re talking about their day. This way, you can narrow their headaches down to a specific event or time of day when they may be frequently occurring. Paying extra attention to these small details may be half the battle of getting your child’s eye health back up to speed.

Eye Discomfort

This is one of the best ways to tell if your child is struggling with their sight. While you only can identify this if you’re paying extra attention, this is often an easy sign to recognize once you do see it. Eye discomfort comes in many different forms and also can be triggered by various situations. Below is a list of the most common triggers:

  •       Reading
  •       Watching anything on a screen
  •       Periods of focus

If you notice your child tilting their head, covering one eye, or even squinting, this is your sign to get their eyes checked. Ignoring these signs for a prolonged period of time can oftentimes lead to more frequent headaches or even frustration in your child. It’s very common for children to cry or adjust their focus to something else when they have vision issues. That’s why it’s important to make the journey of getting glasses fun for them! Instead of choosing a pair for them, try involving your child in the experience by helping them select from the different types of eyeglass frames out there. With lots of fun shapes and colors to pick from, it’ll be easy to turn your child’s frustration into a moment you’ll both share and remember forever.

Falling Short In School

Yes, you read that right. Purchasing the right type of glasses for your child might be the difference between them passing or failing in their classes. If you haven’t noticed any of the symptoms mentioned above, there might be some reasoning behind this. Number one is that you might not be spending enough time with your child due to them being in school all day or a busy work schedule. Number two is that they may only be displaying symptoms at school due to the different situations they’re being put into. Depending on the reasoning, there are two major ways you can identify those situations as a parent. Asking your child’s teacher will likely give you the best results because of the amount of time they spend with them. Ask them questions such as: 

  •       “How does my child do during critical concentration times?”
  •       “Has my child made any comments about not being able to see?”
  •       “How are my child’s comprehension skills?”

In a matter of minutes, you could be able to track down a solution. If for some reason you cannot contact your child’s teacher for one reason or another, you can simply ask your child or another trusted adult within their school community.

The bottom line is that every child is different, so their symptoms will present themselves in various ways. For that reason alone, it’s important to participate in National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Whether you’re on your first or third child, equipping yourself with extra knowledge as a parent has never hurt anyone. 

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