Our eyes do so much for us by allowing us to see and interact with the beautiful world around us. Taking good care of our eyes should start in childhood. There are many things you can do as a parent to help your children care for their eyes, such as:
- Using blue light glasses with screens
- Choosing sunglasses with proper UV protection
- Regular checkups and screenings with an eye doctor
Up to 1 in 17 preschool-aged children, 1 in 5 Head Start children, and an estimated 1 in 4 school-aged children has an undetected and untreated vision disorder that can interfere with their ability to develop properly and perform optimally in school.
Vision disorders that are not found and treated early can interfere with learning. Children can fall behind in school, show behavior problems in the classroom, lag behind other children in school and reaching developmental milestones, and even have permanent vision loss.
According to Prevent Blindness recommends a continuum of eye care for children to include both vision screening and comprehensive eye examinations. All children, even those with no signs of trouble, should have their eyes and vision screened at regular intervals. Here are five steps to identify and treat children with vision disorders:
- Parents/caretakers understand the importance of vision screening and arranging and attending an eye examination appointment if vision screening suggests a possible vision disorder.
- Children participate in routine vision screening conducted by trained and certified screeners using evidence-based tools and procedures.
- Children who do not pass vision screening are referred to their medical home or to an eye care professional (eye doctor) for a confirmatory, comprehensive eye examination, depending on the child’s insurance plan.Eye examinations are conducted by eye doctors trained and experienced in treating young children.
- Parents/caregivers arrange and take their children to the eye examination appointment.
- Parents/caregivers follow the treatment plan, including ongoing care, and share eye examination results with school nurses, Head Start personnel, and others to ensure the treatment plan is followed outside the home.
West Oakland Health Center provides screenings and eyeglasses. Make an appointment today by calling: (510) 835-9610