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Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month – August 2023

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is celebrated every August in the U.S. to prevent blindness. This month aims to raise awareness about the importance of taking care of children’s eyes. Eye health and good eyesight are essential for young children’s physical and cognitive development. Since it’s not always possible for kids to understand when their eyes aren’t healthy, parents should stay on top of vision issues.

History of Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

According to statistics, 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.

Children are unique, and so is their sight. Safety and eye health are essential components of a fulfilling childhood and child development. Most childhood learning occurs visually; therefore, 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 child can also squeeze his eyes, or you can notice his eyes wandering.

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.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month timeline

6th Century
Describing Ocular Diseases

An Indian surgeon named "Sushruta" describes 76 ocular diseases and several ophthalmological techniques and instruments.

18th Century
First Ophthalmics Hospital Opens

The Moorfields Eye Hospital, the first hospital dedicated to the practice of ophthalmics, opens in London.

19th Century
The Ophthalmoscope is Introduced

The introduction of the ophthalmoscope brings about a period of consolidation and deepened knowledge of the eye and the treatment of various ocular diseases.

20th Century
Several Subspecialties Introduced

The investigations in the field of ophthalmology further expand; several subspecialties are introduced.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month FAQs

Who discovered eye disease?

A German physician, George Bartisch, wrote extensively on eye disease and was perhaps the most well-known oculist.

What are the three types of blindness?

There are three common types of blindness: color blindness, night blindness, and snow blindness.

What is healthy vision month?

Healthy Vision Month is celebrated every May and highlights the need to maintain good eye health.

How to Observe Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

  1. Schedule an eye examination for your child

    The best way of celebrating this day is by scheduling an appointment for your child with your ophthalmologist. Make sure that the eye health of your child is in order.

  2. Raise awareness on social media

    Using the #ChildrensEyeAndSafetyMonth hashtag, you can share information about the importance of eye health. Prepare a post and share it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.

  3. Attend a presentation

    Many organizations hold presentations to raise awareness about this topic. An example is the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness which has presentations, webinars, and technical assistance on the connection of vision to learning. Attend these presentations and gain knowledge about children's eye health.

5 Different Eye Diseases

  1. Short-sightedness

    It is also known as myopia, an eye condition in which an individual has difficulty seeing distant objects clearly without corrective lenses.

  2. Lazy eye

    A lazy eye is a poor vision resulting from abnormal visual development in early childhood.

  3. Crossed eyes

    Crossed eyes are a condition in which the two eyes do not align properly and appear to look in different directions.

  4. Eye injuries

    Eye injuries are common among children; most injuries are sports-related or accidental.

  5. Blindness

    Blindness is the inability to see anything, including light. If you're partially blind, you have limited vision.

Why Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month is Important

  1. It is a month to raise awareness

    This month aims at raising awareness about the importance of taking care of eyes. This applies to not only children but also adults.

  2. It is a month to visit your ophthalmologist

    People tend to procrastinate in taking care of their eyes. You can schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist this month.

  3. It is a month to focus on children

    You can prioritize children's eye health this month. It is crucial for your child's development and learning process.

Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month dates

2023August 1Tuesday
2024August 1Thursday
2025August 1Friday
2026August 1Saturday
2027August 1Sunday
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