Tag Archives: children eye exams

For a Healthy, Happy Return to School, Expert Advice From The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore

Transition from Summer to a Back-to-School Sleep Schedule Typically, during the summer, children go to bed later and wake up at different times, because they do not have to follow a school schedule. Shelby Harris, Psy.D., C.BSM, Director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, can discuss how a child can adjust his/her sleep schedule to once again become acclimated to getting up earlier for school. Dr. Harris can provide advice on how kids can start school well-rested and establish a consistent sleep schedule which can help optimize learning. Her pointers include:

Maintain a steady sleep-wake schedule 7 days a week. No catching up on the weekends!

Have a regular and relaxing bedtime routine to wind down the hour before bedtime.

Make sure each step of the bedtime routine slowly moves closer and closer to the bed (e.g. bath, brush teeth, then into bedroom for PJs, book and finally bed).

Get back on a good, healthy diet overall. Oftentimes, kids’ diets will change over the summer. Limit sugar, chocolate, soda – especially from lunch afterwards.

Limit electronics and schoolwork within an hour of bedtime (and don’t allow them during the night, either!)

Easing a Child’s Back-to-School AnxietyChildren as well as teens are often anxious about going back to school. Anxiety can be a result of a transition from elementary to middle school, or challenges socially or academically. Mental health professionals at the Montefiore School Health Program observe many of these issues first-hand and are highly qualified to comment on a wide variety of back-to-school psychological issues. The Montefiore School Health Program, the largest of its kind in the U.S., offers a wide range of medical, dental, mental and community-based services to students and their families in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the Bronx. Since its inception more than 25 years ago, this essential program has steadily grown to 18 full-service centers throughout the borough.

Christine Cheng, Ph.D., Psychology Training Coordinator, licensed clinical psychologist, Montefiore School Health Program, and Instructor of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Cheng helps children cope with various difficulties, such as anxiety, depression, trauma, bereavement and loss, impulse control, and adjustment issues, and she enjoys seeing children overcome them and blossom in their natural social milieu.

Bullying: What if Your Child is Being Bullied, or is a Bully?Bullying can impact the wellbeing of children and young people and have serious long-term consequences. It can undermine educational attainment and self-esteem and can destroy a sense of security. The most common forms of bullying reported by children are being verbally bullied, followed by exclusion and physical bullying. Parents and schools also need to be aware that cyber-bullying is affecting younger age groups as more children get mobile phones and have computer access.

Over the past four years, the Montefiore School Health Program mental health division has developed a curriculum called S.T.A.R., Strengthening Tween and Adolescent Relationships. This is an eight-week classroom based program designed to foster healthy relationships between students and reduce teen dating violence. S.T.A.R. was created by Cheryl Hurst, a Senior Social Worker at PS/MS 95 in the Bronx, one of 18 schools that make up the Montefiore School Health program, to teach 12 to 14 year olds how to develop healthy friendships and communicate in nonviolent and supportive ways. Ms. Hurst identified such a huge need, learning about the problems these kids face: cyber-bullying, financial pressures on parents who have lost jobs, poor parental support and more.

The Best School Lunch is Delicious and Energizing Whether packed in a brown bag or served on a cafeteria tray, a nutritious school lunch that’s tasty and satisfying is a welcome midday break for kids and gives them energy to get through the rest of the day. Clinical dietitian Lauren Graf, MS, RD, has tips for parents and kids as they gear up for another school year, from packing a colorful lunch with fresh fruits and vegetables to spotting healthy choices on the cafeteria line. Even for the pickiest of eaters, parents can find the right nutritional balance for their kids and help them adopt good eating habits that can last a lifetime.

Does your Child Need Eyeglasses? Now is the Best Time for Pediatric Eye Exams. The start of a new school season is the best time to have your child’s eyes examined. Some are obvious, such as sitting close to the TV or holding toys close to the eyes. Squinting to see at a distance, covering or closing one eye to see, may also indicate a need for glasses. It is important to remind parents that many eye disorders are inherited, especially a need for glasses. If Mom or Dad wore glasses at an early age, it would not be unusual for their child to need glasses as well.

Examination May Help Rule Out Eye-Related Links To Behavior, Learning Problems

In the syndicated Parent to Parent column appearing in the Charlotte (NC) Observer Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/16), Betsy Flagler asks, “Is your child headed back to school with an inability to pay attention? Have his eyes, ears and teeth checked by specialists to rule out any health-related links to behavior problems” or difficulties learning in the classroom? While children “generally don’t complain about their eyes…parents need to be aware of symptoms that may indicate a vision problem, experts say.” According to the American Optometric Association, “even though a child may have 20/20 vision, the following habits also can signal less obvious vision problems: loses place while reading, avoids close work,” and “holds reading material closer than normal.”

AOA Survey: Most Teachers Say Vision, Learning Are Interdependent. The News Record Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/15) reported, “A visit to the eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam is an important part of overall health,” and is especially important for youngsters about to return to school. In fact, “according to an American Optometric Association survey of K-12 teachers, 81 percent believe vision and learning are interdependent.”

VNTV Episode #6 – Importance of Eye Exams for Children

Don’t look now but August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.   What if a child never had his eye sight checked, how would he know if he had any sight problems?  A child that has problems seeing, or being light sensitive, or experiencing a blurriness of vision would tend believe this type of ‘seeing’ to be normal and not tell anybody about his vision problem.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month raises awareness  about children and their vision. One out of every four school age children has some type of vision problem. It is important to know if your child has a vision problem and to protect their eyes from harm.

With the new school year swiftly coming, can little Suzy or Johnny see the blackboard or read their school books?  Is Suzy squinting her eyes at the blackboard from her first row seat?  Is Johnny covering up one eye so the words on the book page don’t become ‘double’?    Does either one seem easily surprised or jumpy when someone walks softly up to them?

Vision problems can include sitting really close to the television, short attention span, excessive blinking or squinting, and poor coordination when throwing or catching. Many pediatricians will perform a simple eye exam around 3 years of age.

According to Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America, “Vision problems affect one in four school-aged children.  We want all children to make sure their child’s eye problems do not go unnoticed this school year.  A child should not have to struggle in school because of an undetected vision problem.”

Having yearly eye check-ups with your doctor or an optometrist is always a good idea, or talking with the school system or local government to find out about free children eye exams.

Though most eye problems in children can be corrected if detected and treated early, it is possible for a child to have a serious vision problem and be unaware of it. To prevent eye injuries in children, it is important for parents and caregivers to understand the most common dangers such as the misuse of toys, accidental falls, mishandling of sharp objects such as pens and forks, contact with harmful household products, and sports injuries.

“Certain eye problems, if left untreated, even for a short time, can lead to permanent vision loss, so it is important to maintain appropriate eye care and attend regular check-ups,” said Anthony Caputo, MD, Medical Director, The Children’s Eye Care Center of New Jersey at CMMC.

According to Prevent Blindness America, immediate medical help should be obtained if a child shows any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Obvious pain or trouble seeing
  • Cuts or tears in the eyelid
  • One eye does not move as well as the other, or one sticks out more than the other
  • Unusual pupil shape or size
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Something in the eye or under the eyelid that cannot be easily removed

To help avoid potential everyday eye injuries, parents and caregivers of small children should use safety gates on stairs to prevent falls, pad sharp corners on furniture, place locks on drawers and cabinets that contain harmful substances, and keep sharp objects out of reach. Protective goggles and helmets should be worn when playing sports.

In addition, children are at an even higher risk of the sun’s UV rays’ harmful effects, as their eyes do not yet have the same ability as adults do to better protect against UV radiation. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses large enough to shield children’s eyes from most angles are recommended.

Vision Problems Affect Millions Of American Children

In an op-ed in the Worthington (MN) Daily Globe Share to FacebookShare to Twitter (8/11), Cliff Carmody, executive director of the SW/WC Service Cooperative of Marshall, MN, writes, “Current research shows that vision problems affect millions of American children and thereby impact their ability to learn. … The American Optometric Association notes that when vision problems go undetected, children almost invariably have trouble reading and doing their schoolwork. They often display fatigue, fidgeting, and frustrations in the classroom — traits that can lead to a misdiagnosis of dyslexia or other learning disabilities.” Because August is National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, Carmody urges parents to make sure their children undergo a thorough eye examination before the start of the new school year.

August is Children’s Eye Health Month

Don’t look now but August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month.   What if a child never had his eye sight checked, how would he know if he had any sight problems?  A child that has problems seeing, or being light sensitive, or experiencing a blurriness of vision would tend believe this type of ‘seeing’ to be normal and not tell anybody about his vision problem.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month raises awareness  about children and their vision. One out of every four school age children has some type of vision problem. It is important to know if your child has a vision problem and to protect their eyes from harm.

With the new school year swiftly coming, can little Suzy or Johnny see the blackboard or read their school books?  Is Suzy squinting her eyes at the blackboard from her first row seat?  Is Johnny covering up one eye so the words on the book page don’t become ‘double’?    Does either one seem easily surprised or jumpy when someone walks softly up to them?

Vision problems can include sitting really close to the television, short attention span, excessive blinking or squinting, and poor coordination when throwing or catching. Many pediatricians will perform a simple eye exam around 3 years of age.

According to Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America, “Vision problems affect one in four school-aged children.  We want all children to make sure their child’s eye problems do not go unnoticed this school year.  A child should not have to struggle in school because of an undetected vision problem.”

Having yearly eye check-ups with your doctor or an optometrist is always a good idea, or talking with the school system or local government to find out about free children eye exams.

Though most eye problems in children can be corrected if detected and treated early, it is possible for a child to have a serious vision problem and be unaware of it. To prevent eye injuries in children, it is important for parents and caregivers to understand the most common dangers such as the misuse of toys, accidental falls, mishandling of sharp objects such as pens and forks, contact with harmful household products, and sports injuries.

“Certain eye problems, if left untreated, even for a short time, can lead to permanent vision loss, so it is important to maintain appropriate eye care and attend regular check-ups,” said Anthony Caputo, MD, Medical Director, The Children’s Eye Care Center of New Jersey at CMMC.

According to Prevent Blindness America, immediate medical help should be obtained if a child shows any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Obvious pain or trouble seeing
  • Cuts or tears in the eyelid
  • One eye does not move as well as the other, or one sticks out more than the other
  • Unusual pupil shape or size
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • Something in the eye or under the eyelid that cannot be easily removed

To help avoid potential everyday eye injuries, parents and caregivers of small children should use safety gates on stairs to prevent falls, pad sharp corners on furniture, place locks on drawers and cabinets that contain harmful substances, and keep sharp objects out of reach. Protective goggles and helmets should be worn when playing sports.

In addition, children are at an even higher risk of the sun’s UV rays’ harmful effects, as their eyes do not yet have the same ability as adults do to better protect against UV radiation. A wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses large enough to shield children’s eyes from most angles are recommended.

 

 

Parents risking their child’s health by failing to get eyes tested

Almost 40% of parents of primary school pupils have never taken their child for an eye test, according to new poll.

Two in five kids are set to head back to school with undiagnosed eyesight issues, according to new research

UK parents are overlooking their children’s eyesight, with almost 40% of parents of primary school-aged kids admitting they’ve never taken their child for an eye test.

Nearly 70% of parents believe their child’s eyesight is ‘fine’, yet over a third admit they don’t know the danger signs of poor eye health, according to the ICM poll commissioned by Vision Express.

Worryingly, 88% of parents are unaware of the nationally recommended screening age of 5 years. Children under 16 are entitled to free NHS-funded eye tests, so speak to your child’s school or your local optician.

“An eye test can not only reveal a problem with a child’s sight but could also flag up more serious eye conditions, including retinoblastoma, a rare form of childhood eye cancer,” said Joy Felgate, chief executive of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.

“Parents are not only risking their child’s health in later life by failing to have their eyes tested from a young age, but also how effectively they are learning in the classroom on a daily basis,” said Sally Polak, from Vision Express.

~ Lara Brunt

The Importance of Children’s Eye Health

For many, the first day of school is quickly approaching. And, parents know there is so much to be done before the first day of school to make sure that their child has all of the tools to succeed this school year. A key part of this 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 their learning experience. Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest volunteer eye health and safety organization, has declared August as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Awareness month in an effort to encourage parents to learn about ways they can help protect their child’s vision.

Often children do not realize they have problems with their vision because they think how they see is how everyone else sees. They learn to compensate with their vision problems without fixing them, which can lead to more problems in school and later in life. Unfortunately, some students are misdiagnosed as having a learning disability or behavioral problems when they may simply have vision impairment. This confusion can be eliminated taking a child for a certified vision screening or an eye exam.

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

Eye problems can range from common refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, to serious eye conditions including:

Amblyopia or “lazy eye” – the most common cause of visual impairment in children. As the brain develops and receives diminished images from the affected eye, it begins to suppress those images and favor the unaffected eye. If this condition persists, the weaker eye may become useless. Amblyopia becomes more difficult to treat effectively as the child becomes older.

Strabismus or “crossed eyes” – a condition where eyes are misaligned, or do not line up with each other. This problem is caused when the muscles do not work together. Strabismus may eventually lead to amblyopia. Approximately one in 50 children has strabismus.

Parents should hit the books as well to learn more about how to keep their children’s eyes healthy. Prevent Blindness America has created “Star Pupils,” a free program specifically designed to educate parents on what they can do to ensure healthy eyesight for their kids. Parents may visit Starpupils.org and receive free information on everything from common eye conditions in children to tips on how to protect eyes from injury while playing sports.

For more information on children’s eye health and safety, please call Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or visit starpupils.org.

About Prevent Blindness America

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness America is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness America touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, divisions and chapters, Prevent Blindness America is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, or to make a contribution to the sight-saving fund, call 1-800-331-2020. Or, visit us on the Web at preventblindness.org or facebook.com/preventblindness.