Keeping Families Safe: Remember to keep up with your kid's eye health

Keeping Families Safe: Remember to keep up with your kid's eye health (WKEF/WRGT)

KEEPING FAMILIES SAFE (WKEF/WRGT) - Good vision is key to success in school. It's been estimated that as much as 80 percent of the learning a child does, occurs through his or her eyes. That's why it's important to not neglect your eye health as Deborah Linz explains in her Keeping Families Safe Report.

5-year old Claire Gabbard is getting a new pair of glasses to help with her double vision. Mom Lyndsey got concerned last year.

“Especially when I started noticing her only opening one eye it’s like what is wrong with her," she said. "And it upset me because I wanted her to be able to see”.

That’s why Settlers Walk Eye Care optometrist Brian Landrum says a comprehensive eye exam starting around 9 months of age is important. He says a vision screening at school or with a pediatrician is not enough.

Landrum says, “It catches a lot of kids but doesn't catch them all not substitute for eye exam and a screening never looks at eye health.”

Warning signs your child may be having vision problems include frequent eye rubbing, headaches, avoiding reading and other close activities, a short attention span, and turning their head from side to side.

Nearsightedness or myopia has risen dramatically now affecting around 42 percent of the population, up from 25 percent in the 1970's. Dr. Landrum says it could be attributed to genetics more near work and more use of electronic devices.

But in the last few years atropine drops have been shown to dramatically slow the rate of nearsightedness in children by 50 percent.

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