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COVID-19 and Vision Update

COVID-19 and Vision Update

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

 

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

Preschool English

https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/THINKOFVISIONPreschoolpbnccveh.pdf

Preschool Spanish

https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/THINKOFVISIONESPpreschool.pdf

Elementary school- English

https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/THINKOFVISIONSchoolagedFinalpbnccveh.pdf

Elementary school- Spanish

https://childrensvision.preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/ThinkofVisionSchoolAged-Spanish.pdf

 

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

https://ectacenter.org/topics/disaster/coronavirus-talking.asp

Activities for Families at Home

https://ectacenter.org/topics/disaster/familiesathome.asp

Resources for Parents/Caregivers

https://mailchi.mp/ecdan/covid19#Parents