The American Academy Of Ophthalmology recognizes August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Children are at risk for many eye and vision problems, which often go undiagnosed. Some signs of concern in children could be:
- Disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects.
- Wandering or crossed eyes.
- Squinting or turning their heads in an unusual manner while watching television.
Here are some things you can do in the event of an eye injury:
- For a scratched cornea, light scratch usually heals completely without complications but a severe cut requires immediate treatment and probably surgery.
- Dust or sand in the eye usually blinking or possibly careful irrigation.
- If there is a chemical burn to the eye, it should be flushed with running water for 15 minutes and a doctor should be called.
- For cuts along the eyelid, the cut needs to be sutured and stitched by an eye doctor.
- If there is blood in the eye, a trip to the emergency room is required.
- For black eyes, most black eyes will heal completely without additional treatment.
To prevent these injuries, and to protect your children, take the following steps:
- For very young children, ensure there are gates at the top and bottom of staircases.
- Encourage children to wear sunglasses with impact-resistant lenses that block 100 percent of UV rays.
- Make sure staircases have handrails that a child can easily grip.
- Install cabinet and door locks that restrict access to dangerous household products.
- Store utensils out of the reach of children.
- During this month’s solar eclipse, make sure that your child isn’t looking directly at the eclipse without solar filtered eclipse glasses or a solar viewer.