Health Tips Tuesday: Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Dr. Michael Abrams with Pediatric Ophthalmology of Western Mass. spoke to us about the importance of children’s eyecare.
How soon should children begin having their eyes tested and how important are those early screenings?
Abrams: “They are critical. They’re probably the most important thing you can do to protect your child’s eyes and depending on your childcare provider, between six months and two years of age and they are done every year until they are around nine to ten years of age. They typically use a box to take a picture of the eyes and not to tell you what they see and regardless if you believe your child was paying attention or not, they do a very good job of screening and picking up any eyecare problems.”
What should parents be on the lookout for with their children’s eyesight?
Abrams: “It is hard to know what a child is seeing the real wrists are the eyes that are misaligned, so if you have an eye crossed in or dripping out with increasing frequency or constantly after about six months of age, you should see a pediatric ophthalmologist, or someone like me.”
What can children do to keep their eyesight strong?
Abrams: “Unfortunately, there is very little of anything that you can do. The eye care vitamins and supplements are a waste of time and money. Vision therapy and eye exercises are also a waste of time and money. There is no real scientific basis for either of them. There is some evidence that spending time outside in natural lighting can help defend nearsightedness, and in general, it’s probably good for a child to play outside anyways.”
Where can parents go for more information or to potentially set up an appointment?
Abrams: “I have a website it’s powmass.com and I have some patient resources, but you can also go to the American Academy of Ophthalmology website, which is a a pos.org and they do a great job of providing answers to questions and resources.”
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