August: Children's eye health month

August 17, 2011

With the approach of the school year, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared August as Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness month, and is encouraging parents to ?make sure every child takes the test that may help them pass all the rest.?

Chicago-With the approach of the school year, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared August as Children's Eye Health and Safety Awareness month and is encouraging parents to “make sure every child takes the test that may help them pass all the rest.”

According to PBA, a key part of students’ success starts with healthy eyesight in the classroom; a child's ability to see the blackboard and the words on a page clearly is critical to his or her learning experience. PBA noted that children may not realize they have problems with their vision because they think how they see is how everyone else sees. They learn to compensate for their vision problems without fixing them, which can lead to more problems in school and later in life. Some students’ vision issues even may be misdiagnosed as a learning disability or behavioral problem when they may simply have vision impairment. This confusion can be eliminated by taking a child for a certified vision screening or an eye exam.

“Vision problems affect one in four school-aged children. We want all parents to make sure their child's eye problems do not go unnoticed this school year,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and chief executive officer of PBA. “A child should not have to struggle in school because of an undetected vision problem.”

PBA is also encouraging parents to learn more about how to keep their children's eyes healthy. The association has created “Star Pupils,” a free program specifically designed to educate parents on what they can do to ensure healthy eyesight for their children. Parents can visit www.Starpupils.org to receive free information on everything from common eye conditions in children to tips on how to protect eyes from injury while playing sports.

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