Take care of your tot’s vision

Almost 1/3 of my K-2 learners already wear eyeglasses. I don’t want it to happen to my baby boy. Just as taking care of my baby’s teeth is important for proper growth and his well-being, so too is taking care of my tiny tot’s vision. I’m planning to take him for his first eye exam. I’ve read that American Optometric Association suggests parents should take their children in for their first official eye exam by six months old (I’m kinda late for that!). While that seems young, the earlier you start caring for your child’s vision, the better.

It is important for us parents to recognize some early warning signs of vision problems in our children. Young children often cannot verbalize what is going on with their eyesight. Here are some warning signs your child may have a vision problem:

1. Frequent straining to see things
2. Poor eye/hand coordination
3. Frequent eye rubbing
4. Lazy eye
5. Problems in school
6. Difficulty keeping eye contact
7. Frequent squinting or tilting of head to see
8. Tearing
9. Frequent headaches
10. Use of finger or other tool to read

Any or all of these signs may help alert you to possible vision problems early on. You can then work with your healthcare provider to help your child find a suitable pair of lenses. It’s still too early to let them undergo Lasik surgery, right?

By the way, I have a news for you. Getting Lasik before the end of the year may allow the cost to be deducted as a medical expense from 2009 income taxes and/or the money in tax-free health spending accounts can be used for Lasik if the surgery is performed before December 31, 2009. All tax benefits are available for Lasik performed at Stahl Eye Center in Garden City NY.

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