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For more information:
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Prevent Blindness Offers Parents, Caregivers, Educators, Back-to-School Resources to Help Keep Children’s Eyes and Vision Healthy
Prevent Blindness Declares August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
to Educate Public on the Importance of Healthy Vision for Kids
Columbus, OH (August 6, 2021)- In August, many children are headed back to school. One of the best ways to help students succeed in the classroom is to make sure they are seeing clearly. Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, to provide the public with helpful information to put kids on the path to a lifetime of healthy vision.
According to the recent study, “Children’s Vision and Eye Health: A Snapshot of Current National Issues 2nd Edition,” vision has a critical role in children’s physical, cognitive, and social development, and visual functioning is a strong predictor of academic performance in school-age children. Without early detection and treatment, uncorrected vision disorders can impair child development, interfere with learning, and even lead to permanent vision loss.
Common vision problems in children include amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), and refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. Nearly three percent of children younger than 18 years are blind or visually impaired, defined as having trouble seeing even when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
A child who does the following may have possible eye and vision problems:
- Rubs eyes a lot
- Closes or covers one eye
- Tilts head or thrusts head forward
- Has trouble reading or doing other close-up work, or holds objects close to eyes to see
- Blinks more than usual or seems cranky when doing close-up work
- Says things are blurry or hard to see
- Squints eyes or frowns
Children with eye problems may also appear to have eyes that do not line up, (one eye appears crossed or looks out), eyelids that are red-rimmed, crusted or swollen, and/or eyes that are watery or red. However, a child may still have an eye problem even if he or she does not complain or has not shown any unusual signs.
Additionally, extended screen time among children has become a concern for many parents, caregivers and educators. Digital screens have become a common part of a child’s world, used for interactive play, reading, learning, and to socially connect. The daily time a child spends viewing a digital screen (including a cell phone, tablet, laptop, computer, TV, or gaming screen) can add up quickly.
“Oftentimes, children do not realize they have vision problems, so they learn to compensate. Many students are misdiagnosed as having learning or behavioral disabilities when they may simply have a correctable vision problem,” said Sherry Williams, President & CEO of Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate. “That’s why Prevent Blindness recommends a continuum of eye care throughout the lifespan beginning at birth and including regular vision screenings and comprehensive eye exams.”
The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness has a variety of resources to help put children on the path to a lifetime of healthy vision:
- Prevent Blindness offers access to free eye exams and glasses, through its vision industry partnerships, to children who qualify for their Vision Care Outreach Program.
- Children’s Vision Screening Training programs provide instruction to health and childcare providers, as well as school nurses and educators on how to perform stereopsis, color vision and distance visual acuity screening, including detailed information on childhood eye diseases and disorders. Upon successful completion, each screener is eligible to receive free screening equipment.
- Vision and eye health curricula useable for both remote and classroom learning for ages pre-K to grade 12 are available on Wise About Eyes website: wiseabouteyes.org.
The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness (NCCVEH) also provides a wide variety of free, informational resources about everything from baby’s developing sight, to school readiness, to recommended eye protection for sports and UV.
For more information on children’s eye health and safety, or financial assistance programs, please call Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate at (800) 301-2020 or visit pbohio.org.
About Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness serves all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to 1,000,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight. For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020. Visit us on the web at pbohio.org, Facebook at facebook.com/pbohio/, or Twitter at twitter.com/PB_Ohio.