Healthy eyes and good vision play a vital role in your child’s learning and development. Hence, it is important to have a vision screening done for your kids. The first eye checkup happens in birth by the pediatricians after which every well visit requires you doctor to check the baby’s eyes for any physical defect. Now, any of the following occurrence requires evaluation by the eye specialist that is – high risk newborns like premature babies, those with the family history of eye problems, babies who do not track well after 3 months, excessive tearing – it could mean a blocked tear duct, crusting and redness of the eyelid or recurring discharge could indicate that there is an infection. Any abnormal movement of one or both eyes in a particular direction could mean that there is a weakness of the eye muscles. A white pupil on an examination could mean eye cancer, a bulging eyes with increased sensitivity to light could mean there is increased eye pressure and children who have difficulty reading from a distance or close by definitely need to go see the eye doctor. The aim of regular eye checkups is to detect any problems with vision early, so that it doesn’t interfere with the learning and to prevent any permanent damage from underline eye conditions. Now, at the age of 3 ½ years, your child should have an eye exam and visual acuity test that is test for detecting the vision sharpness. This is performed by sometimes pediatricians itself or by the ophthalmologist, who is the eye specialist. The next healthy eye checkup should be at the age of the 5. There after checkups must be done every other year or every year if the child is wearing glasses. Okay, what can we do for kids to keep their eyes healthy when they are spending time in front of the computer? Kids should keep the computer at 10-15 degree angle below eye level and sit in a good posture with the feet on the floor, elbows rested on the desk and the back and the neck aligned properly. Keep the screen clean and dust free. The laptop should be 20-24 inches away from the eyes. They need to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and a 10 minute break every hour. The surrounding light should be slightly dimmer than the computer screen light. Now, any child exhibiting signs of eyestrain such as irritated and painful eyes, dry or watery eyes, difficulty focusing or having headache should go and see the eye specialist.
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