Even before you became a parent, you started preparing for a life with your little one. No matter how prepared you might be, there are just some things that we have to deal with in the moment. This can cause anxiety, fear, and worry about your child’s everyday health and well being. Don’t let eye issues or first-time eyewear be a difficulty in yours or your child’s life. Take these tips and hints to prepare for a healthy and carefree life with eyewear and eye care! 

Have you seen this beautiful weather, Summerville? It’s been a joy while the world around us has been a little uneasy. Are you still having issues seeing and experiencing the world around you? Then it might be time to visit us! We are still open and very essential. Know that we are taking this situation very seriously, and are following strict guidelines to keep our offices clean, our staff and patients safe, and to make sure you keep seeing this wonderful spring down to the last green leaf and flower bud. It’s a very strange time, but don’t let your eyes suffer. We are here, and we are ready to see you! 

As the school year is coming to a very different and unique end, we wanted to continue to discuss our youngest eye patients and their journey with their optometrist. In our last two blogs, we discussed how proud we are to be apart of INFTANTsee and can provide free, and very important, eye exams for all babies one-year-old and younger. We also discussed how to help cure the woes and worries of your little one’s fears at their first optometry visits. But, there is so much that needs to be shared about pediatric eye care and the importance of educating your children on healthy and proper eye care, that we wanted to share a little bit more on the subject. We want to dedicate this blog to any parent having worries or difficulties about a child who possibly needs eye care and eyewear for the rest of their lives. We are here to help you through them, and to ease these worries. 

We can’t stress how important these early eye appointments are, or the fact that it is something we take very seriously in our offices. While your child grows and matures, it’s not just their height and age that changes and develops. Their eyes are rapidly growing and changing, and need to be cared for as delicately as possible. According to the American Optometric Association, children should receive eye exams at six months, three years, five years, and every year while they’re in school. Remember, one in every four children has some type of visual impairment. More often than not, these conditions are present with little or no symptoms from the child. Many issues that children have with their eyes that could potentially be dangerous or become an impairment in their life, can be prevented if caught and cared for at a young age. Still not convinced of the importance of pediatric optometry? Let’s see if we can change that. Here are ten things you should know about your child’s vision and how to be prepared to care for a child who needs eye care! 

  • When your child complains about eye-related issues or pain caused by not being able to see properly, listen to them. Many children at a young age don’t have the verbal skills yet to explain what is bothering them, but they know enough that something is wrong. If you’ve visited your pediatrician, and your child is still experiencing issues, don’t be alarmed. It’s just time to visit us. Be attentive, pay attention, and make an appointment! 
  • Your child has been seeing the world through their eyes exactly as they think they should be. They won’t know or understand what seeing clearly is like, until it has been caught that they haven’t been. They won’t understand that what they see is blurry, that they have been missing out on seeing every detail around them, and that it could be impacting how they’re learning at school every day. An optometrist can make seeing clearly a reality for your child in no time. 
  • At any age, parents need to be looking out for certain symptoms that could be a telltale sign that there is something wrong with your child’s eyes. These symptoms include: 
    • Chronic redness
    • Chronic tearing
    • Pupil discoloration
    • Talking about not being able to see or that their vision is blurry
    • Constant eye rubbing 
    • Constant squinting 
    • Moving close to an object to see it clearly
    • Bringing objects close to their face to see them 
    • Closing one eye while reading or watching TV
    • Having a hard time paying attention or sitting still in class, watching TV, or reading
    • If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, please visit us right away. 
  • Do you know how your child’s growth spurts and loose teeth seem to appear overnight and always feel like a surprise? The same thing applies to your child’s eyes. These issues or symptoms can appear overnight and out of the blue as they continue to grow. It can come as a shock and surprise, but they just need to be addressed right away. 
  • Even if you and your partner don’t wear glasses, and your child isn’t showing any signs of issues with their eyes, that doesn’t mean they should be exempt from these early optometry appointments. Please follow the guidelines on scheduling your child’s optometry visits. Eye impairments can appear without any symptoms or signs and aren’t necessarily linked to parents who have good or poor eyesight. 
  • Insurance is always a tricky subject and is one that we will talk more about in the future. Insurance should never be the reason that prevents you from getting your child to an optometrist. This goes beyond having vision insurance. Most medical insurance plans will cover routine eye exams and cover any additional medical eye care for children. Double-check with your insurance provider before you assume that you and your child won’t be covered. 
  • Wearing glasses at a young age can come with a heavy stigma from society. Hearing that they “have to” wear glasses can make them sound like a punishment, and can put a lot of pressure on your child. It’s a big adjustment to learn to live with glasses and to wear them every day, so make it easier on them. Let them choose the frames they love. Help accessorize your child’s glasses to keep them playing outside, participating in their favorite sports, and splashing through the waves. Show them that glasses are a great thing and exciting to wear. Glasses are a fashion statement, something that makes them special, and something that helps them see everything in their magical world. Make sure they are measured properly for their glasses, so they fit properly on their face. This can be a difficult thing to find at a run of the mill glasses shop. We specialize in the care and treatment of children’s eyes, so this won’t be an issue you’ll run into with us. We can help you ease into helping your child wear glasses and the fact that they can see so much better now.  
  • Not only can you show and talk about how wonderful it is to wear glasses, but your child can learn about it too! We begin them on that fun journey in our offices, but there are many wonderful children’s books out there that can help them make the transition into wearing glasses, that there is nothing wrong with wearing them, and that they are not alone in wearing them. 
  • It is very common for parents not to know how important these early visits are, and so many eye issues won’t appear with symptoms or issues for your child. That’s why we are here to spread that awareness and to help you prevent any issues for your child’s vision. But, don’t feel guilty or punish yourself through the process of taking your child to the optometrist and learning that they need glasses. Your child was happy and healthy, and they still are. How could you have known they needed glasses? You are not alone in feeling guilt attached to learning this news or that your child couldn’t see properly. But, we are here to help prevent that guilt and erase any fears or worries about your child’s eyes.
  • Screentime can have a huge impact on your child’s vision. Right now, we are all spending a lot of time at home and a lot of time on our smart devices for work, school, and play. Try and limit hours on these devices and watching TV. Allow frequent breaks during the online schoolday to let your child’s eyes rest. Limiting screen time and giving these breaks can help lower the risk of nearsightedness, eye strain, and digital eye strain. 

We hope this list calms your worries and fears and helps your family start a healthy path of eye care. Being a parent is hard work, an incredible gift, and a daily rewarding challenge. We are here to help keep your family safe and healthy with the best optometry care in Summerville. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will always be here when you need us!