Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month – August 2022

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A father reading a book to his child on a white couchChildren’s Eye Health and Safety Month is celebrated every August in the U.S. to raise awareness and prevent blindness. This month aims to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of children’s eyes with regular checkups.  Eye health and good eyesight are essential for young children’s physical and cognitive development. It’s not always possible for kids to understand when their eyes aren’t healthy, parents should stay on top of any vision concerns.

One out of 20 children between the ages of three and five has a serious eye problem, and if not treated on time could result in permanent vision impairment. Most preschoolers do not receive routine eye screening, which is crucial to identify if children suffer from eye disease.  Safety and eye health are essential components of a fulfilling childhood.

Most childhood learning happens visually so good vision is critical for a child’s physical and intellectual well-being. Common signs of concern about eye health are frequent rubbing of the eyes, squinting, tilting, or turning the head to look at objects. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has proclaimed August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness Month to raise awareness of children’s eye health. This month also aims to educate parents and caregivers on the steps that should be taken to ensure that students are provided with the best opportunity to have a successful school year through a healthy vision. Common refractive abnormalities in children are myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. A pediatric optometrist can not only detect them but also other severe eye conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the eyelid), and color deficiency or color blindness.

How regularly do you get your children’s eyes checked?

I have always had my son’s eyes checked and tested mainly due to the Retinitis Pigmentosa that I have. There’s a one in two chance that my children could develop RP when they’re older. Living with any form of low vision/blindness means we know just how precious healthy vision is.  But if in the future my children are affected by sight loss, my legacy to them through my poetry will instill a strong belief that no lack of vision in our eyes can ever replace the vision in our minds.  We can achieve anything with put our minds too.

 

Shift this Cloud

How do I break the news to what I may have done to you

Won’t know for sure 

but doctors say the odds are 1 in 2

I look into your eyes 

and watch for signs 

I hope aren’t there

Pray this RP 

will end in me 

no faulty gene is shared

This tunneled world I live in 

hope one day won’t be your view

Don’t follow in my steps or place a foot inside my shoe

The battle for acceptance

will be just a story told

With perfect sight

not hurt by light

clear vision breaks the mold

I carry heavy guilt 

through sleepless nights and secret tears

I wait to know the answer ticking clock of RP’s fears

But if in future blindness 

does come knocking at your door 

I’ll lead you by example

show that life is so much more 

My son be proud 

we’ll shift this cloud and dance in heavy rain 

I’ll show you all that’s possible 

strong heart and long white cane

With poems raise awareness 

this will be my legacy 

Four words that travel round the world 

my Stand By Me RP

So, years from now 

when you’re fully grown 

if blindness burden shared

Just look at what your Dads achieved 

So you’ll be more prepared 

#TheBlindPoet