Did you know?
September is children’s eye awareness month!
Vision and eye health are important in every stage of life. Eyesight helps babies learn and explore their environment, assists school age children with reading and writing, and helps with hand-eye coordination during play, sports, and self care!
Vision is so much more than just being able to see! There are many components to vision that allow us to interact with our environment. Some of these include:
- Eye muscle movements: There are six muscles that help us control our eyes! They help us look up, down, and to the sides. They help us track moving objects. If one muscle isn’t working properly, it can affect our coordination and visual tracking.
- Visual acuity: The accuracy of how clearly we can see.
- Refractive errors: Sometimes the shape of our eye will slightly change, affecting our ability to see close up and far away. This is commonly referred to nearsightedness and farsightedness and is one of the most common reasons for glasses!
- Visual Motor Skills: The ability to see and perceive something, then send a signal to your brain to perform a motor action! Visual motor skills are important for recognizing and copying letters, shapes, as well as cutting and stringing beads.
- Ocular motor skills: Ocular motor skills can be broken into three components: fixation (focusing on one object), saccades (rapidly moving eyes from one object to another) and pursuits (tracking a moving object). These are really important skills for a child during play. For example, these skills help us catch and throw a ball, copy off the board during school, and scoop food with a spoon.
Eyecanlearn is an awesome resource for children to practice those visual skills! Visit eyecanlearn.com for fun games and activities to target ocular motor skills, visual tracking, visual focus and more!
Also, with Halloween around the corner, don’t miss this fun tips sheet from preventblindness.org to make sure your family has a safe holiday!
It is important to have your vision regularly checked. The Mayo Clinic recommends that children ages 0-3 should have their pediatrician check for eye problems at every visit, children ages 3-5 should have at least one comprehensive eye exam, and school age children should have their vision checked every 1-2 years. Often times, children do not know that their vision is abnormal and if left undiagnosed, can cause behavior problems in the classroom, difficulties with math and reading, and even mimic signs of ADHD! If your child has not had a vision screening recently, make sure to reach out to your pediatrician or schedule an appointment with an optometrist (eye doctor).