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A growing number of U.S. children may develop vision problems before they reach kindergarten, according to a study, Newsmax reports.
Latino children were the most likely group to have vision problems.
Study researchers examined U.S. census records and eye exams of 12,000 children ages 6 and younger.
They estimated that 174,000 U.S. children ages 3-5 had vision impairment as of 2015. That number could grow to more than 220,000 children by 2060.
The study also found that Latino kids accounted for 38% of vision impairment cases, compared to 26% among white kids and 25% among black kids.
“Researchers estimated [the Latino] proportion would climb [from 38%] to 44% by 2060 aided by higher birth rates in this population relative to other racial and ethnic groups,” according to the Newsmax report.
What to Do
Most childhood vision problems including issues seeing up close or far away.
These can be corrected by glasses.
Parents thus should take kids for at least one comprehensive eye exam by age 3, study author Dr. Rohit Varma, director of the Roski Eye Institute and dean at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, told Newsmax via email.
He also urged parents to watch for these vision issues:
- sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close
- squinting, tilting their head, frequently rubbing their eyes
- short attention span for the child’s age
- turning of an eye in or out
- sensitivity to light
- difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding
- avoiding coloring activities, puzzles and other detailed activities
“If children display such symptoms or behaviors then they should certainly get an eye examination,” Varma wrote.