We are writing to share resources on children’s vision and eye health during this most difficult time for both families and professionals. Thank you for sharing this message with families, colleagues, and your networks.
COVID19 AND THE EYES
According to the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-covid-spreads.html), it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. The CDC recommends people practice frequent “hand hygiene,” which is either washing hands with soap or water or using an alcohol-based hand rub.
HOW TO HELP YOURSELF AND OTHERS
- Wearing glasses may add a layer of protection to your eyes.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Learn tips for keeping glasses, canes, visual aids, cell phones and devices sanitized at https://files.constantcontact.com/c7bb7b87401/df3ca750-f5b8-42d2-93a8-c3eae143c682.pdf
- For Prevent Blindness’s statement on Covid19 and the eyes, please visit https://www.preventblindness.org/important-message-eye-care-patients-regarding-covid-19-pandemic
OBSERVE SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD MIGHT HAVE A VISION DISORDER
- For everyone’s health and safety, ophthalmologists, optometrists, and other health care providers are being encouraged to see patients only for urgent or emergent problems during the coronavirus pandemic.
- As many families and caregivers are now in the role of teaching children in the home, there is more opportunity to observe children’s appearance and behaviors to determine if their children might have a vision disorder and should receive eye care.
- If your child or student has prescription eyeglasses, check out our resources on helping children adjust to and be comfortable wearing glasses. https://www.preventblindness.org/your-childs-glasses
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR CHECKING WHETHER A CHILD MIGHT HAVE A VISION DISORDER:
“Think of Vision” fact sheets for preschool and elementary school teachers
Elementary school- English
Elementary school- Spanish
TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT THE EYES AS PART OF HOME CURRICULA
Prevent Blindness provides free eye health curricula appropriate for children in grades K-2, grades 3-5, and grades 6-8 for parents/caregivers, educators, public health groups, and others to help children learn about eye anatomy and the importance of vision and eye care. https://www.preventblindness.org/star-pupils-eye-health-and-safety-curriculum
RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES
From the Office of Special Education Programs of the U.S. Department of Education:
Questions and Answers on Providing Services to Children with Disabilities During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Outbreak https://sites.ed.gov/idea/idea-files/q-and-a-providing-services-to-children-with-disabilities-during-the-coronavirus-disease-2019-outbreak/
RESOURCES FOR ALL FAMILIES
From the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center:
Supporting Children and Families during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Activities for Families at Home
Resources for Parents/Caregivers