August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. As families are getting ready to go back to school, remember to get their eyes checked before school starts. Children entering kindergarten and third grade in Iowa must have completed an eye screening before starting school.

This month is a good chance to talk to children about their vision and eye safety. If you and your child are curious about how eyes work, the National Eye Institute has a series of educational resources geared specifically to children, including this video on vision in the dark:

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is also a good time to remind children to wear protective eyewear when participating in sports and to take wearing goggles in science class seriously. Make sure younger children are playing with age-appropriate toys that do not have sharp or protruding parts. Students may even need reminders about wearing sunglasses that have full coverage and protection.

Most children have healthy eyes and good vision, but the things that threaten good vision are not always immediately noticeable. The best way to make sure your child’s eyes are healthy is a setting up an eye exam.

Some things parents can look for are:

  • wandering or crossed eyes
  • a family history of childhood vision problems
  • disinterest in reading or viewing distant objects
  • squinting or turning the head in an unusual way when watching television

Health Alliance Plan
Prevent Blindness
National Eye Institute