Children's Eye Safety Month
Are your child's eyes ready for school?
Since children usually don't complain about subtle problems with their eyesight, it is important for parents to make sure their children's eyes are screened.
Good vision and eye health are important to students' ability to succeed in the classroom and be safe on the playground. Since so much of what a child learns in school is taught visually, having the proper vision at the start of a school year is fundamental to their success, both academically and socially.
Regular Vision Screenings
Vision screening should be part of all well-child exams with a primary care doctor, pediatrician or other qualified health professional and should take place any time eye health or vision problem are suspected. If a vision or eye problem is detected, your health care professional should refer you to an ophthalmologist.
Dr. Linn Mangano, a board-certified ophthalmologist fellowship trained in pediatric ophthalmology at EyeCare Specialists, says, "Screening is actually a better method than a full eye exam for every child because we catch kids at different times. At all those points there are certain parameters the pediatrician is looking for regarding that child's vision." The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends vision screenings for children at birth, again during infancy between 6 to 12 months, around age 3 to 3 1/2, around school age at 5 and 6, or during the school years if a problem is suspected.
"If they fail the vision screening or they just can't do it or won't do it, those are all reasons to get a full eye exam." according to Dr. Mangano. "If there is any question, any family history of eye disease, if a child is having trouble in school, we want to make sure his or her eyes are strong. If there is any suspicion what so ever, the child should have a full eye exam. If everything seems fine, then the screening guidelines for throughout their childhood are good."
The earlier a problem is detected, the better the chance to obtain maximal vision through appropriate treatment. If a young child's eyes cannot send clear images to the brain, his or her vision may become limited in ways that cannot be corrected later in life. However, if problems are detected early, it is usually possible to treat them effectively. Call Dr. Linn Mangano at EyeCare Specialists to schedule a comprehensive exam for your child. 800-455-EYES.
Click here for more information on vision screenings from the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.