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What You Can Do Today to Protect Your Child’s Eyesight for Tomorrow

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You envision nothing but the best for your child’s future. The steps you take to nurture them today shape the steps they’ll take into healthy adulthood. As a parent – or soon-to-be-parent – you probably have already identified your child’s pediatrician for general health needs, but what about the health of your child’s eyes? Keep reading to learn why establishing a relationship with a vision specialist for pediatric eye care in Cochrane, AB is equally important in giving your child every protection they’ll need for a happy, healthy future!

The Timing for Your Child’s First Eye Exam

When your baby is first born, there will be a natural period of time for them to make adjustments in their vision to the new world around them. The hospital pediatrician will perform standardized testing to monitor this adjustment, and then your pediatrician will continue the screening during your child’s regular visits. However, it is recommended that your baby receive a comprehensive infant eye exam from an optometrist in Cochrane who practices pediatric eye care when they are six months old.

Establishing a relationship with a vision specialist who can treat your whole family has many advantages to it. There is of course the convenience of only having to visit one medical office for multiple appointments, but beyond that, it’s also a great way to have your child watch how easy it is for you to have your eyes examined. Because children so often mimic the behavior of their parent, this is a perfect way to help them move past any anxiety they may exhibit in medical offices.

Also, because you will have an established relationship with this vision specialist, the practice will be ready to administer testing for your child’s preschool eye exam (between the ages of 2 and 5), and their school-aged eye exam (between the ages of 6 and 18), and any special sports-related eye exams.

At River Heights Eye Care, we’ve helped countless families in Cochrane, AB with their children’s eye care, and we’d love to do the same for your family, too!

Some Eye Health Tips for Your Whole Family

You might be surprised to read that the same eye health tips that you’d apply for your own eyesight are the same for your child. Their eyes benefit from exercise and a balanced diet, just as yours do. And just as you know not to spend too much time on your electronic devices, your child should not be parked in front of cartoons all day.

As a general rule for eye care patients of all ages, the 20/20/20 rule should be adhered to by giving your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at something in the distance at least 20 feet away, and staying focused on that for 20 seconds. You can easily practice this at work, but you can also easily interrupt your child from their electronic screen at home to help them adhere to it, as well!

Also, remember that eyes – of all ages – should always be protected from the sun’s rays by using eye protection that ensures that at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation is being blocked. We know that babies can’t wear sunglasses, so remember to put a hat on their head or keep them covered in other ways.

We mentioned earlier the importance of timing your child’s eye exams, including any sports-related required testing. In conjunction with that, you’ll also want to make sure that you protect your child’s eyes with protective eyewear, just as you shield yours while you’re engaged in your favorite sport or involved in any activity where vision needs to be protected.

What to Look for When Your Child Can’t Tell You: Common Signs for A Need to Visit Eye Care

There are five common signs that you should be aware of – and looking for – that indicate that your child may need to visit a vision specialist. These include frequent eye rubbing, squinting, covering one eye when trying to focus on something, a short attention span, and poor performance in school. In addition, you should also be on the lookout for frequent blinking, headaches, tilting their head to one side, and losing their place on a page when reading.

But instead of looking for signs and wondering what they might mean, you can instead take all of the guesswork out of your child’s eye health by visiting River Heights Eye Care’s state-of-the-art facility for a comprehensive eye exam for your whole family today!

Written by Anthony Iuliano

Dr. Iuliano graduated with an honours degree in Biological Science from the University of Calgary with plans to work in the healthcare industry. In 2008, he attended the University of Waterloo Optometry program and graduated with honours in 2012.
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