Back-to-school means heading back to the pediatrician for check-ups and visiting the dentist… but what about your kids’ eyes? SuperMommyNot takes a look at eye health and what every parent needs to know. Sunglasses aren’t only cool, but necessary! Watch the video!

Eye Health Facts:

Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam: Only 7% of kids have had a comprehensive eye exam by the start of first grade and only 50% – by the time they graduate high school . Most of a child’s eye health problems can be fixed, stopped or prevented at a young age. It’s estimated that 80% of a child’s learning is visual , but simple visual screening required by schools detects only 5% of vision problems. Poor vision puts children at a disadvantage when learning how to read, write and understand what is happening in the classroom. According to Dr. Mark Jacquot, Clinical Director of Vision Care for LensCrafters,“vision may change frequently during adolescence and it is essential that children receive annual eye exams. Back-to-school is the perfect time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child so he or she can start the new school year off on the right foot.”

Screen Time: Children age eight to 18 spend more than seven hours each day with electronics. With 52% of children having access to tablets and one-third of U.S. high school students owning a smart phone it is important to keep an eye on screen time.

Tips on reducing the damaging effects of ‘blue light:’

Follow the 20/20/20 Rule: Every 20 minutes look away from your screen- 20 feet ahead- for 20 seconds. It is important to consistently give your eyes a short screen break.

Wear Glasses: The drying effect from staring at your screen can be especially uncomfortable for those who wear contacts. Swapping your contacts for glasses will give your eyes (specifically your corneas) a rest.

Use Artificial Tears: Artificial tears will help to hydrate the corneas. Eye doctors suggest putting them in before bed, after a child wakes up and in the afternoon.

Eat an Eye Friendly Menu:
-Antioxidant vitamins and minerals, lutein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids all help protect your eyes. To make sure kids receive enough of these natural vision helpers, be smart about school lunches and snacks.
-Yellow and orange fruit and vegetables like peppers, carrots, oranges and bananas, along with egg yolks, contain eye healthy nutrients. Scrambled eggs with bell peppers for breakfast will help to start the day off right.
-Upgrade school lunch with homemade fish fingers at least twice a week – cold water fish such as tuna or salmon helps prevent eye disease and maintains healthy eyes for life.
-Make sure kids eat at least one serving of leafy greens per day. Their nutrients act like sunscreen for your eyes. A handful of spinach or kale and a few almonds in an after-school fruit smoothie make a yummy and healthy treat.

Vision and Exercise: Young children spend more time inside and engage in more fixed reading distance activities than ever before. This contributes to an almost 20% increase in myopia (nearsightedness) in kids from 1970s to 2000. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss. Exercise can reduce the risk of developing this disease. It also increases the levels of growth factors in the bloodstream that contribute to the health and well-being of retinal neurons.

AccuExam: AccuExam is LensCrafters’ exclusive, state-of-the art digital eye exam system. The technology allows the doctor to spend more time with patients, helping parents leave with a better understanding of the health of their child’s vision. According to Dr. Mark Jacquot, Clinical Director of Vision Care for LensCrafters, “AccuExam is comprehensive, advanced, and precise.”

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