When a child falls or hurts themselves on the playground we tend to point the finger at clumsiness or a simple accident. But what if these injuries were caused by something else?
Similar to seniors, undetected vision and eye health problems can increase a child’s risk of falling and being injured. For instance, a child with visual impairment may be at a higher risk of injury when playing sports, crossing the road or walking down stairs.
“It’s important for parents to have their children’s eyes checked by an optometrist on an annual basis,” says Dr. Rajvinder Pabla, Ontario Association of Optometrists member. “A comprehensive eye exam can detect eye health and vision problems that may be the root cause of a child’s falls and injuries.
Common issues that may be increasing a child’s risk of falling or injuring themselves include:
Many parents don’t often realize their child has an issue with their eye health or vision because they assume they would know or their child would tell them. However, children don’t always tell their parents when they’re experiencing difficulty seeing because they have a hard time expressing it or they believe everyone sees like them.
“Frequent eye exams are extremely important for a child. Due to growth spurts, a child’s eye health can rapidly change,” says Dr. Pabla. “One year they may be fine and the next year their eyesight or eye health may have decreased to the point that they are experiencing more falls and accidents.”
The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends children receive an OHIP-covered eye exam at 6 months, at age three, and every year thereafter or as recommended by your optometrist. That way any eye problems can be detected and managed, allowing your children to enjoy a safe and active childhood.
Find an optometrist near you.