Always Aware: August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

Always Aware Children's Eyes

It's almost time for kids to go back to school. Parents are getting pencils and notebooks ready and taking kids for their immunizations, but what about checking their eyes?

August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, bringing attention to the need to get kid's eyes checked before they hop on the school bus.

Seven-year-old Brody Graves is one example of the need to check children's eye health.

"When Brody was born I thought his one eye looked a little different," said his mom, Sandi Graves.

Turns out, Brody has a condition called Optic Nerve Coloboma. He had surgery, and now he has to wear glasses. He's still able to play sports, like basketball and golf, he just has to wear his glasses.

"Because of the colobomas, he has increased chance or retina detachment. So we're just making sure that Brody doesn't lose his vision," said Graves.

Dr. Robert Kitei, Pediatric Ophthalmologist at St. Luke's, is Brody's doctor. He says Broy's mom did the right thing by going to the pediatrician when she noticed something out of the ordinary.

"Sometimes it's obvious, a child may be stumbling, appear to not see," said Kitei. "Sometimes it's hard to know. If a child rubs their eyes a lot, if an eye is crossing, turning inward or outward, it can be a warning sign. Sometimes there are no signs."

According to the World Health Organization, more than 19 million children have some sort of vision impairment. Dr. Kitei says eye safety is also important.

"Any time that a child with an eye problem, or actually anyone should wear eye protection just like anyone should wear a mouth guard," said Kitei.

That's advice for good visions of the future.

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