COLUMBUS — Across the state of Ohio, many children are beginning a new school year and healthy vision will be critical to their academic success. As a child grows, an untreated eye disease or condition becomes more difficult to correct. These can worsen and lead to other serious problems as well as affect reading ability, focus, behavior, personality and social adjustment in school. Vision problems that can affect children include Amblyopia, (“lazy eye”), Strabismus, (“crossed eyes”), and the most common forms of refractive error: myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).
For the second year in a row, The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness, Prevent Blindness and the National Optometric Association(NOA) are teaming up to declare August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month to educate parents and caregivers on the steps that should be taken to ensure that students are provided with the best opportunity to have a successful school year through healthy vision.
To help educate parents and in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness is offering the newly revised “Guide to Vision Health for Your Newborn, Infant, and Toddler.” This no-cost comprehensive resource offers information on a variety of topics, including common milestones for visual development, how to help your baby’s vision to develop, warning signs of possible vision problems, and more. The earlier a vision disorder can be identified and treated, the stronger start to learning and development a child will have.
A child may be at higher risk of developing a vision problem if he or she:
Was born prematurely (less than 32 weeks completed gestation.)
Has a family history of vision disorders, such as childhood cataract, amblyopia (may also be called lazy eye), misaligned eyes, eye tumors, or wore glasses before first grade.
Has had an eye injury (problems resulting from childhood eye injuries may develop much later in life.)
Has been diagnosed with a problem that could affect his or her physical, mental and/or, emotional development.
“By diagnosing and treating vision problems early, we can actually help prevent vision loss later in life,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness. “Vision is critical in how a child develops and by ensuring all of our children have access to vision screenings and professional eye exams, we are helping build a brighter future.
Prevent Blindness partner, OCuSOFT ® Inc., a privately-held eye and skincare company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, will make a donation to Prevent Blindness in support of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month.
For more information on children’s eye health and safety, or financial assistance programs, please call Prevent Blindness at (800) 301-2020 or visit www.pbohio.org.