The non-profit organization Prevent Blindness has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month. The timing is no coincidence; as children get ready to return to school, the importance of eye health is top of mind for parents, educators and eye health practitioners alike. Prevent Blindness works hard to make sure eye care is accessible for all families and that parents know which kinds of problems to watch out for.

Many families may believe that the cost of eye exams is too expensive. That’s not the case. Prevent Blindness works in tandem with other charities and businesses, including VSP, Luxottica, Visionworks and Davis Vision, to make free eye exams and eyewear possible for families who qualify. In addition, the Affordable Care Act makes sure that in most states, one free eye exam and one pair of glasses are a part of the benefits.

Two of the most common eye problems experienced by children are amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes). Eye exams can also detect color blindness, retinitis pigmentosa, uveitis (an eye inflammation), conjunctivitis and vision problems such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. It’s also important to have regular exams for children that have diabetes, childhood glaucoma or any chronic illness that can affect the eyes.

Talk to an eye care professional about how to prevent eye problems if your child plays sports or spends a lot of time in the sun.

Talk to an eye care professional about how to prevent eye problems if your child plays sports or spends a lot of time in the sun.

Prevention is a key word in children’s eye health. Seeing an optometrist or other eye specialist at least once a year is the best way to prevent blindness, so do your part by making an appointment for your child today.

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