Autumn is just around the corner, and that means back-to-school season is here. While you’re running around with your kids getting ready for the new school year, consider this – adding an eye doctor’s appointment should be just as important as buying the latest fashions and school supplies.
Poor vision and other eye problems can be the number one cause of academic and behavioral problems in students, especially younger ones. Make sure you schedule regular appointments with your kids’ ophthalmologist, as this can help catch any eye problems before they manifest into poor grades or frustrated behavior. In addition to these appointments, make sure you teach your kids the importance of these back to school eye tips:
- If your child wears contact lenses, make sure that he or she doesn’t swim or shower in them. This is because a specific water parasite known as acanthamoeba can cause serious eye infections – and they seem to favor contact wearers. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 85 percent of people who had this serious eye infection wore contacts. Therefore, make sure your child takes out his or her contacts before getting in the water.
- Spend plenty of time outside with your children. Multiple studies have shown that the more time your kids spend indoors studying (especially on the computer), the more likely it is that they’ll become nearsighted. For every hour spent indoors, try to get at least ten to fifteen minutes outside. This can ensure that you’re mitigating the risk of damage to your children’s eyesight.
- Wash your hands whenever you handle your eyeglasses, contacts, or even before you touch your eyes. It may seem a little frequent at first, but it’s critical to avoid infections and outbreaks that can afflict children (especially pinkeye). Encourage your children to wash their hands as often as possible.
- Encourage your children to take breaks from computers, cell phone screens, and other technology. Dry eye can occur when you look at a computer screen for too long, as it forces you to blink less. By having your children take regular breaks (20 seconds for every 20 minutes), you can ensure their eyes stay safe.
For more tips and techniques that are perfect for back to school eye health, schedule a consultation with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths and her team at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA (serving the greater Washington DC & Northern Virginia areas). To learn more call 703-834-9777 or fill out the form in the top left corner.