From your health and wellness experts at Prisma Health
Children, Health
August 16, 2018

Keep an eye on your child’s eye health

Alexander E. Pogrebniak, MD
Palmetto Health-USC Pediatric Ophthalmology
With school just around the corner, now would be a good time to schedule an eye exam appointment for your child.

How important is an eye exam?

Very! Just look at these statistics:
  • 80 percent of the information kids receive in classrooms is presented visually.
  • One in four kids has a vision problem of some kind.
  • 60 percent of children with learning difficulties have an undetected vision problem.
It is recommended that you have your child’s eyes checked during regular visits to your pediatrician or family physician beginning at age three. Your pediatrician or family physician can help detect refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, not to mention diseases such as amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes).
If a problem is detected, your doctor may refer you to an ophthalmologist for additional testing and evaluation.

How do I know if my child has a vision problem?

Be on the lookout for these signs:
  • Squinting while watching TV.
  • Lack of interest in reading.
  • Disinterested in viewing distant objects.
  • Eyes that looked crossed or seem to wander.
If any of these signs manifest, be sure to have your child examined.

How can I keep my child’s eyes safe?

Because kids are actively playing and participating in sports, they become especially vulnerable to eye injury. Here are some tips to follow:
  • Make sure your child wears the appropriate protective eyewear (sports goggles, eye shield or face mask) when participating in sports. Choose the eyewear that is specifically made for the sport and make sure it fits your child securely and comfortably.
  • If your child receives a blow to the eye from a ball or elbow, put a cold compress on it for 15 minutes until the swelling goes down. Then see a doctor.
  • If sand gets in your kid’s eye, tell him or her not to rub the eye. Instead, wash the eyes out with water.
  • If a chemical gets in your child’s eye, wash the eyes out with water for at least 10 minutes and then visit a doctor immediately.
  • While outside in the sunlight, provide your children with sunglasses when possible to protect their eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Find a doctor

The best time to schedule a new patient visit is while you’re well. We can help you choose from our network of more than 80 primary care physicians across the Midlands region.

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