It is difficult to believe that in this world of advanced medicine many children are born with vision problems that remain untreated into their school years. One study claims that nearly 30% of preschoolers will have uncorrected poor vision in the next several decades.
The majority of children’s vision needs are solvable problems. It often only requires interventions at an early age. Some experts recommend that preschools across the nation incorporate vision testing for even their youngest of students – beginning as early as age 3. Nearsightedness and farsightedness tend to be the most common vision challenges of preschool children and both vision defects can be corrected with prescription glasses.
Experts also explain that minority children are less likely to receive the eye exam interventions they so desperately need. This includes socioeconomically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic children. It is important that community social service organizations make information available to the public on eye health and optometry resources.
If you are a parent of a child who needs prescription eye wear to correct their vision, there are several things to keep in mind to make the experience less frightening. Begin by visiting the optometrist’s office once or twice before undertaking the eye exam process. Let the child get comfortable with the surroundings and people. Model the exam process for the child or hold the child in your lap while they are undergoing the testing process.
Next, have the child put on eyeglass frames and look at themselves in the mirror. Allow them to be part of the decision-making process in choosing the glasses. Make sure to purchase eye wear that uses safety lenses and look for opportunities to buy two pairs of glasses at the same time. If you are a parent, then you know that things will get mislaid. A second pair of glasses helps to prevent the panic that can ensue when you are unable to put your hands on the only pair purchased.
Take the time to ensure that the glasses fit the child comfortably before you leave the doctor’s office. Little things like thin nose pads or frames that are too tight will cause your child to avoid wearing the glasses they need.
Finally, don’t miss a chance to tell your child how great they look with eyeglasses. That will help to ensure they wear them when needed. For more information on children and eye wear contact the experts at Island Eyecare.