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Seeing Back-to-School Clearly
Signs of Vision Problems
- Bumping Into Objects
- Red Eyes or Lids
- Rubbing Eyes
- Squintting or Tilting to See Things
- Avoiding Detailed Activities
- Behavioral Problems
Your Childs First Eye Exam:
When should a child get their first eye examination? Prevent Blindness America recommends a continuum of eye care for children to include both vision screening and comprehensive eye examinations. All children, even those with no signs of trouble, should have their eyes checked at regular intervals. Any child who experiences vision problems or shows symptoms of eye trouble should receive a comprehensive eye examination by an eye care professional.
Texas public school districts are required to perform vision screenings on 4 year olds, kindergartners, and students in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grade, or any other first time entrants (4 years through 12th grade). Most vision screenings only check to determine how well a person can see at distance and are used to typically identify a child at risk for vision problems. They often only identify a small portion of the vision problems in children.
A comprehensive eye examination includes tests to determine nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, eye coordination and muscle function, eye focusing abilities and an overall eye health assessment which, in many cases, involves dilation. It is during this type of examination that diseases and disorders in young children can be diagnosed and treated when possible.
Prevent Blindness America offers the following suggestions when planning to take your child to the eye doctor:
1.Ask your relatives, friends and neighbors if they know the name of an eye doctor who is good with children. The optometrists at Broome Optical all enjoy seeing young patients.
2.Schedule the appointment when your child is not likely to be sleepy or hungry. If your child has a cranky time of day, schedule around it.
3.Make a list of your questions and bring it with you. Take notes when speaking to the doctor so that you can refer to them later.
4.Have a plan ready in case you need to spend time in the waiting room. Bring a favorite story book, coloring book or small toy that your child can play with quietly. A snack can also help to pass the time.
5.Let your child watch a family member get an eye exam. Have the doctor explain what is being done, step by step, and encourage the child to ask questions.
6.Bring your childs favorite toy. The doctor can examine the bear or doll and holding a toy may keep little hands off of expensive equipment.
7.Relax. Children look to adults for cues: if you seem nervous, your child may become anxious. A trip to the eye doctor should be fun for both of you.
Your Child's First Exam:
- Ask Around for a Good Doc
- Choose an Ideal Time
- Have Questions Ready
- Let Your Child Watch
- Bring a Toy
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