My son has beautiful eyes. They are blue, sparkling, and framed by long, dark lashes. And they can see. Both of my children are blessed with wonderful eyesight, a gift that many of us take for granted. It is estimated that 45 million children and adults worldwide suffer from blindness. Every year one to two million more will lose their site, and what is most upsetting is that in 75% of the cases, prevention or early action could have restored sight.
Today, October 8th, is World Sight Day, and ORBIS International, a non-profit, global development organization whose mission is to eliminate avoidable blindness in developing countries, is reaching out to parents to make them aware of this mission.
ORBIS’ Flying Eye Hospital works to provide sight-saving programs in developing countries and to train health care providers to continue to the work after they leave. To learn more about what ORBIS does reverse and prevent blindness check out inside accounts called “Eye Reports
How Can You Care for the Sight of Your Child?
While most children are born with healthy eyes, there are rare cases of illness that need to be identified and treated in order to prevent long term health issues.
1. Know your family history: It is important to know if eye disease or early vision problems run in either side of your child’s family.
2. Watch for strange appearance or actions: White pupil, enlarged cornea, and swollen or droopy lid are just some examples of signs to be aware of. Parents are first to notice if there is a problem with their children’s health, so be sure to check with your pediatrician immediately if you have any concerns.
3. Regular eye exams: Many pre-schools and elementary schools will hold regular eye exams for their students. Be sure to ask about these opportunities and check with your pediatrician if your child has not been examined at school.