The following article, about vision problems in young children, was submitted for sharing on this site from www.nannycare.com.
Adults know when they’re having trouble with their vision, but young children may not realize that anything is wrong. They may think that the poor quality of their sight is normal, or they may be too young to communicate that there’s a problem.
That’s why it’s important for parents to pay close attention to tell-tale signs that their child is having vision issues so the problem can be corrected quickly. Early detection is crucial, so here are 10 signs that your child may need glasses.
- Squinting – The most common sign of vision problems is squinting. Anyone who has trouble seeing will squint to try to focus better. If you notice your child squinting a lot, you may want to make an appointment with the eye doctor.
- Rubbing eyes – Another tell-tale sign to watch for is excessive eye rubbing. Most children will rub their eyes when they’re tired, but if this begins to happen frequently, then it could be an indication of a bigger problem. Two potential reasons a child may frequently rub his eyes are a subconscious reaction to blurry vision or it could just be allergies.
- Tilting head – Children with double vision may tilt their head to see more clearly. This could be caused by a muscle imbalance in their eyes that can be corrected with eyeglasses.
- Headaches or dizziness – Constant eye strain from poor vision can cause headaches and dizziness. If your child complains of frequent headaches in the forehead area or is irritable after reading or watching TV, he may need to see an optometrist.
- Sits close to TV – Does your child constantly insist on sitting in front of the television? This could be a sign of nearsightedness that can be easily corrected with eyeglasses. Nearsightedness is identified when there is a problem with seeing things in a distance, so kids will sit closer to compensate.
- Closing one eye – Another clue to vision trouble is closing or covering one eye when reading or watching TV. This could mean there is a problem with one eye, so a child will close it to see more clearly. Because this could be a serious condition, it should get immediate attention.
- Holds books close – Most children should be able to read books at a comfortable distance, so holding books up to their face is a sign they may need eyeglasses. If your child is a bookworm with her nose continually in a book, she may need a visit to the eye doctor.
- Problems in school – Quite often children who are having problems in school are facing these issues because of undiagnosed eye trouble. If they’re having trouble seeing the blackboard or reading they can become disinterested or even disruptive. Be sure to have your child’s vision checked if he is suddenly having trouble with school.
- Lazy eye – When kids have a weakness in one eye it will show up when they’re tired. A droopy eyelid or one eye drifting out of alignment is a sign of a lazy eye that can often be corrected with eyeglasses.
- Finger reading – Some kids will use a finger to follow the words when they read. This isn’t a clear sign they need glasses, but if it persists, there could be a problem. They may need the finger to keep their place when reading if they have astigmatism or amblyopia.
Many vision problems are hereditary, so if parents need glasses, chances are the kids may be prone to the same fate.
Nobody wants their kids to have to wear eyeglasses, but left unchecked, vision problems will only worsen over time. It’s much better to have an eye doctor give a clean bill of health than to let your child suffer with poor vision. Merely asking your child if they can see alright won’t work if they don’t know what clear vision is like. Routine vision screenings at school don’t always catch less common eye problems, so a visit to the optometrist may be necessary. Wearing glasses is no fun, but not being able to see clearly is worse. Watch for these signs to make sure your child doesn’t have a vision problem that needs correction.
Safe Kids USA wants you to know the following key facts about kids and sports:
• More than 38 million children and adolescents participate in sports each year in the U.S.
• Nearly three-quarters of U.S. households with school-age children have at least one child who plays organized sports.
• Each year, more than 3.5 million children ages 14 years and under receive medical treatment for sports injuries.
• Approximately two-thirds of all sports-related injuries leading to emergency department visits are for children.
The rate and severity of sports-related injury increases with a child’s age.
• From 2001 through 2009, it is estimated that there were 1,770,000 emergency department visits, 6 percent
of these for traumatic brain injuries, among children ages 14 and under for injuries related to sports or
• Approximately one out of five traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports and recreational activities.
• More than 90 percent of sports-related concussions occur without the loss of consciousness.
• The most common types of sport-related injuries in children are sprains (mostly ankle), muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, repetitive motion injuries, and heat-related illness.
• In 2009, more than 365,000 children ages 14 and under were treated in emergency departments for either football or basketball-related injuries.
Proven Interventions that Can Protect Your Child when Playing Sports:
• Coaches should be trained in first aid and CPR, and should have a plan for responding to emergencies. Coaches should be well versed in the proper use of equipment and should enforce rules on equipment use.
• Helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of concussion, particularly in sports such as football, skiing and snowboarding.
• Children should have access to and consistently use the appropriate gear necessary for each respective sport.
• Among bicyclists, skateboarders and scooter riders, wrist guards can reduce wrist injuries by up to 87 percent, elbow pads can reduce elbow injuries by 82 percent and knee pads can reduce the number of knee injuries by 32 percent.
• Proper hydration and recognition of heat illness signs and symptoms (such as nausea, dizziness and elevated body temperature) can help reduce the risk of severe sports-related heat illness.
• The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children take at least one day off from organized
physical activity each week and at least two to three months off from a particular sport per year to avoid over training or burnout.
Go to www.safekids.org for more information on keeping children safe while enjoying sports.
Safe Kids USA asks you to follow the tips below to make sure you keep your children safe while they are walking to and from school.
Tips for Walkers
- Developmentally, most kids can’t judge speeds and distances until at least age 10, so younger kids need to cross with an adult
- Did you know most walking injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections? Whenever possible, cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, and keep looking and listening while crossing
- Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths, but if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
- Remove headphones when crossing the street
- If you need to use your phone, stop walking
- Distraction among drivers is at an all-time high today, so try to make eye contact with the driver before you step into the road