National Eye Health Week 18-24 September 2017 - CHILDRENS EYECARE
It has been proven time and time again that poor vision equals poor grades. The tragedy is that a simple routine vision examination could detect and virtually eliminate poor grades in some children.
Studies show that 80 per cent of learning is arrived at visually. If the child can't see the blackboard clearly, then the teacher's instruction is limited. Additionally, there are other repercussions to the well-being of a child with poor vision.
Some children will not admit that they can't see for a number of reasons. There is still a stigma that wearing glasses is not cool.
A vision condition can remain undetected when it develops over a long period of time. The child does not notice that they are not seeing as clearly as they should.
Vision screening offered in schools may detect a potential vision condition. However, the typical school eye chart is designed to be seen at approximately six meters and measures how well or poorly the child sees with each eye at that distance. Problems with near vision, eye coordination and focusing ability are among the many problems that may not be discovered in this test.
Due to Government pressure, less visual screening of children of school age than in the past.
We feel a non-sympomatic child should receive an annual eye exam between the ages of 3 and 16. This should increase in frequency if visual problems are detected.
Doing so can prevent most vision conditions from becoming health or learning problems.
All children in the lower third of their class, particularly those with the ability to achieve above their percentile ranking, should be given a complete visionexamination. Every child who, although achieving, is not performing within reasonable limits of individual capacity should receive a complete vision analysis. A child's visual maturity is an important consideration in academic development.
In addition to regular vision care, there are many things that a parent, can do to help a child's vision development.
At birth, a baby can see surprisingly well. In these early months, a baby begins to follow slowly moving objects with his or her eyes and begin to reach for objects. In the first year you can help your child's vision development by :
Changing the position of the crib often and changing your infant's position in the crib to allow the child to respond to light from different directions.
Hanging a mobile outside and above the crib to provide variety and movement.
Keeping reach and touch objects within baby's focus.
Talking to your baby as you walk around the room, giving him or her a target to follow and helping associate hearing with seeing.
Allowing your baby to explore many different textures and shapes with his or her fingers.
Providing toys, stuffed animals and other objects with texture and detail. Vision is one of your baby's most precious senses. As your child grows, much of what he or she will learn will depend upon vision. The most important thing a parent can do is to start their child on an early vision care program.
Eye alignment and muscle balance may be the most important areas for optometrists to assess. Using light reflexes, toys and playing 'peek-a-boo' while covering and uncovering the infant's eye allows optometrists to evaluate the amount and smoothness of eye movement that indicates proper eye alignment and muscle balance.
Using a retinoscope, optometrists can observe the light movement within the pupil and by holding lenses in front of the child's eyes determine, quite accurately, any out-of-focus condition present in the child.
Eye health can be monitored at a very early age. Using toys, games, colourful objects and lights, the examination can be quite enjoyable for the child.
It is recommended that children have their first eye examination by age three.