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Keeping an Eye on Your Child’s Vision
For more information on caring for your child’s eyes check out Your Child’s Vision: What You Need to Know

One in four school-age children has a vision problem, yet the problems often go unrecognized, according to Prevent Blindness America (PBA), a nonprofit eye safety organization. Before your child heads back to school, have his or her eyes checked during August, which is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.

A 2006 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that two-thirds of American children receive no eye care before age 6. Having a first eye exam by age 4 is essential, according to PBA, because many devastating childhood eye diseases can be treated and cured if detected early in life. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that vision screenings be a regular part of a child’s annual physical examinations.

Here are a few signs of eye problems to be on the lookout for. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your child between examinations, contact your pediatrician immediately:

• a change in the usual appearance of eyes

• quickly fluttering eyes

• frequently watery eyes

• sensitivity to light

• white, grayish or yellow material in the pupil

• redness in eyes that doesn’t go away after a few days

• persistent pus or crust in eyes

• crossed or unfocused appearance of the eyes

• frequent squinting or rubbing of either eye

• tilting or turning head when looking at things

• bulging or drooping eyelid

For information on eye care, including free vision screenings, contact PBA at www.preventblindness.org.

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