ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, a month dedicated to spreading awareness about making sure your children’s eyes are protected. 

News 8’s Ally Peters sat down with Dr. Kimberly Rosati with Rochester Regional’s Reed Eye Associates in Pittsford to talk about the month and what parents and guardians should know about their child’s eye health. 

Why is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month important?

“It’s very crucial that children get a comprehensive, full eye exam with dilation to confirm that they’re seeing well, and on top of that, that their eyes are looking healthy,” Rosati said. 

What are some of the common eye issues you see in children?

“So something that happens fairly often in children is what we call amblyopia, or a lazy eye, where one eye does not develop properly, due to something blocking its view or vision,” Rosati said. “A lot of children don’t realize if one is seeing poorer than the other. This can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam, which is what we recommend.”

How often or when should parents or guardians get their children’s eyes checked out?

“If we know there’s a family history of any type of eye condition, including nearsightedness, it is recommended that you have your child’s eyes checked in infancy, from 12 months to two years old, and then beyond that, definitely before they start school anywhere from three to five-years-old,” Rosati said. 

How can good eyesight help with young children’s physical and cognitive development?

“We know now that school is so technology-based, kids are spending more and more time on digital devices, computer screens, tablets, and this is very visually demanding for a child. So we want to ensure that children are seeing properly, having clear vision out of each eye, their eyes are working together properly because this will help facilitate learning in school, assisting with reading and things like that,” Rosati said. 

If parents have any concerns about their children’s eyesight or eye health, what should they do?

“Definitely recommend getting a full eye exam, getting in with your eye doctor, wearing sunglasses with UV protection, those are very crucial,” she said. 

Any other tips you’d recommend? 

“Making sure we limit the amount of screen time we have on these devices, making sure they’re taking breaks,” Rosati said. “I think now kids are spending so much time on digital devices, I know the recommendation is limiting it to two hours a day, which I know can be difficult, but just limiting I think is crucial for these kids.” 

If you want to learn more about children’s eye health and safety, click here.