August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month



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Now that August has come around once again, it is time to get an eye exam before the kids go back to school. Friends of Sight want to ensure that as part of your school check list, you include an examination of the eyes. This is part of the Child Eye Health and Safety Month. There are estimates that eighty per cent of the education in the classroom is taught visually. Not being able to clearly see does have a negative effect on self esteem, athletic performance and academic performance.

For many students and parents, preparations are being made this August as it is Children’s’ Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month. August has been declared by Prevent Blindness as the month for safety awareness and eye health in order for parents to become inspired and make the vision of their children a priority. To help parents take the appropriate steps for keeping their children’s sight healthy for a lifetime topics such as sport safety, UV protection, crossed eyes or strabismus, lazy eye or amblyopia are explored. There are also a few programs offered by Prevent Blindness in order for the sight of children to be saved.

The Eye Patch Club is one of the programs geared towards kids and families with amblyopia. Usually, this condition is treated by eye doctors by having kids wear eye patches over the eye which is not affected over extended time periods. This program is created for encouraging kids to wear their doctor prescribed patches. Members of this club receive stickers and their own calendar among other materials.

For grades K-2 and above, there is also a Star Pupils Eye Health and Safety Curriculum offered by Prevent Blindness that is specifically designed for those in education. This is a free, available program that you can download which provide kids with materials that are interactive. The purpose of these materials is to help kids learn how we see, the components of the eye, the importance of sight, situations that can be dangerous to eyes and how to identify objects. This program meets the standards of National Physical Education, National Science and National Health and includes activity books which kids can take home, in-class worksheets, eye exam diagrams and presentation guides.

This month also offers an education program for eye health and safety called Eye Spy. Through this online program which is free of charge, there are opportunities for kids to learn about eye safety, how the eyes work and about the anatomy of the eyes. Teachers may also opt to use these programs to help supplement their class programs.

The NCCVEH or the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness teams up with Family Voices for the eye health and safety month for kids with special needs in health care. There will be important information on issues that have to do with vision. Included in the resources are Working with Medical Professionals, Families of Children with Vision Impairment, Vision Health for Children on the Autism Spectrum and the like.

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