Back to School warning: The ONE thing your child shouldn’t skip as schools go back
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Schools across England will reopen next week for the first time in months, with a wave of restrictions to enable social distancing and safe learning. Children had been learning from home as lockdown measures stopped schooling, with only the children of key workers allowed to attend schools.
Now experts are warning there is one thing students shouldn’t skip when they return to school.
Nimesh Shah, Marketing Director at Feel Good Contacts, is urging parents to book an eye appointment for their child before they head back to school.
He told Express.co.uk: “After online learning followed by a summer of even more time spent in front of the screen, delaying an eye health check-up could be dangerous.
“After all it’s very difficult to know if your child has a problem with one eye when the vision is good in the other.”
Read More: How safe is it for teachers to go back to school?
This warning comes after an estimated four million eye tests have been missed over the last four months of lockdown.
And, with millions of children returning to school, any eye health issues which go undetected could be detrimental to their vision, concentration and performance.
Mr Shah also recommends: “Before school starts, it’s important to establish a good bedtime routine that doesn’t include screen time.
“Getting enough sleep is important for staying alert during the school day, so gradually start to limit screen time.
“The blue light emitted from screens causes digital eye strain, headaches and hampers sleep as it tricks your body into thinking it’s still daytime, and you should be awake.
“Use the extra time you have with your child to talk, read and do some eye yoga together.”
Feel Good Contacts gave some tips to spot some of the symptoms parents can look out for that may signal abnormalities in a child’s eye health.
They may read slower than usual, lose their place whilst reading, hold books closer to their face, make numerous mistakes whilst reading text, skip words, or perhaps say them in the wrong order. This is usually a sign of dyslexia.
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Continuously squinting to see things
They may avoid reading, particularly when what they are reading is far away. Or they may try to see out of the corners of their eyes or tilt their head to help focus on an object.
White or greyish white colour in the pupil
This can sometimes be a sign of cataracts, corneal ulcer, retinoblastoma (eye cancer in children) or uveitis. This will often affect your child’s visual clarity.
Eyes that flutter quickly from side to side or up and down
This will greatly affect a child’s hand-eye coordination and they may have difficulty writing or playing sports.
They will also have trouble keeping their eyes on one particular target, moving from one object to another, or moving their eyes along a page to read writing.
Ali Mearza, Ophthalmic Consultant and Co-founder of Ophthalmic Consultants of London said: “More often than not, your child may just need a pair of glasses to help them see clearer and reduce eye strain.
“If they’re short sighted, then glasses will be required for clearer distance vision and if they’re long sighted, then glasses will reduce strain when doing near work.
“More serious problems are rare but outcomes are better if problems are picked up and managed as early as possible.”
Mr Mearza concluded: “If you spot any problems with your child’s eyes or vision, then you should visit an optician or GP to deal with the matter promptly before the condition exacerbates.
“The optician or GP will then refer you to a specialist paediatric ophthalmologist for further management as needed.”
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