The National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health at Prevent Blindness logo

Happy March! For most of the country, this is when we “spring forward” by changing our clocks and spending more hours outside where children can play and explore the great outdoors (which gets them away from screens and devices!). We encourage you to display our safe devices poster in English and Spanish in your school, childcare program, or medical office to promote healthy behaviors.

We hope you will join us for our interactive Virtual Office Half-Hour on March 27, 2024, and a special webinar on March 28, 2024.

The Total Solar Eclipse is Just a Month Away!

children watching the solar eclipse

With only one month until the solar eclipse, now is the time to educate your students and promote eye safety.

Prevent Blindness is excited to partner with the East Coast Migrant Head Start Project (ECMHSP) to offer eye safety education for children in 48 ECMHSP centers across the US. The Preschool Eclipse Project will help young children and their families in migrant communities to learn about solar eclipses and how to safely view them. The short book, “Between the Sun and the Earth,” and the eclipse lesson plan will explain the science principles of how the Sun, Moon, and Earth are connected to share the wonder and awe of solar eclipses and how to view them safely. 

The lesson for young children, “Eye Learn About Vision Health & Protection: Your Eyes and the Eclipse,” includes an easy, fun activity for children, where they create a paper plate with the sun, moon, and earth with the moon moving between the earth and the sun to show a solar eclipse.

Between the Sun and the Earth

These educational efforts are supported by a Jay M. Pasachoff Solar Eclipse Mini-Grant from the American Astronomical Society’s Solar Eclipse Task Force, which is in turn supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 2318745. Prevent Blindness also thanks the Delta Gamma Foundation for its generous support for the development of the solar eclipse educational materials.

To promote eye safety, School Health, and WebEyecare offer Prevent Blindness solar eclipse viewing glasses which are also listed on the American Astronomical Society’s website listing links for safe solar viewers when used properly.

Eclipse Resources
a child after a vision screening and eye exam with new glasses

An elementary grade student was screened during a Prevent Blindness North Carolina mass vision screening event and was referred to eye care. He reported he had never had vision problems in the past, had never been to an eye doctor, and had never received a prescription for eyeglasses. He shared that it was hard for him to see the teacher’s board even though he sat in the front of the class. Most of the time he would guess what was on the board by verbal clues. He went for a professional eye exam and received a prescription for eyeglasses. The first day he came to school with his glasses on, he was all smiles. His grades went up, along with his confidence and self-esteem. 

Webinar: Emerging Eye Health Issues in Young Children

Thursday, March 28, 2024, 2-3 p.m. ET

Join the National Center for Health, Behavioral Health, and Safety (part of the Office of Head Start) for a webinar featuring Donna Fishman, Director of the NCCVEH; Dr. Elise Ciner, Salus University – The Pennsylvania College of Optometry Professor of Optometry; and Dr. Fuensanta Vera-Diaz, New England College of Optometry Associate Professor. The webinar will focus on how understanding and addressing emerging vision and eye health issues can help young children have their best possible vision. Learn how vision conditions, such as myopia, can affect children’s learning and development and lifelong health, productivity, and opportunities. The webinar provides guidance for how staff can identify the signs and symptoms of vision conditions in children ages 5 years and younger. Learn strategies for supporting families when children need referrals and treatment for eye care or vision disorders.

This webinar is offered with simultaneous interpretation in Spanish.

Key Topics

  • Emerging vision problems in children ages 5 years and younger
  • Symptoms and treatments
  • Increasing rates of myopia (nearsightedness) among younger children
  • Ways to support nearsighted children in the classroom and at home
  • Helping families get recommended treatments for good eye health
Register Today!

Join Your Peers for Our Interactive Virtual Office Half-Hour

The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health’s February interactive Virtual Office Half-Hour included a discussion on the difference between eye chart and instrument screening and what each measures, following up on referrals, how to help high school students who don’t want to wear their prescription glasses, and financial resources for eye examinations and glasses. Join the March 27, 2024, interactive Office Half-Hour at 1 p.m. ET, hosted by P. Kay Nottingham Chaplin, EdD, to ask questions or listen to the dialog.

Join Us!

March is Workplace Eye Health and Safety Month

a young woman working with multiple computer screens

As part of our series on YOUR adult eyes, we encourage employers and employees to make eye safety and eye protection a priority on the job. For those who work in an office setting, using digital devices such as computers, tablets, and cellular phones can expose eyes to blue light.

Although blue light exposure from digital screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun, there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.

People using screens for prolonged periods may experience “digital eye strain.” Symptoms include blurred or double vision, eye fatigue, eye redness or discomfort, and headaches.

To help avoid eye strain, Prevent Blindness recommends the following:

  • Place your screen 20 to 26 inches away from your eyes and a little bit below eye level.
  • Use a document holder placed next to your screen. It should be close enough so you don’t have to swing your head back and forth or constantly change your eye focus.
  • Change your lighting to lower glare and harsh reflections. Glare filters over your digital screens can also help.
  • Get a chair you can adjust.
  • Choose screens that can tilt and swivel. A keyboard that you can adjust is also helpful.
  • Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light can help ease digital eye strain by increasing contrast.
  • Anti-reflective lenses reduce glare and increase contrast and also block blue light from digital devices.

Workplace Eye Health and Safety Resources at Prevent Blindness:

Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Resources

Having ROP as a child can increase the risk of vision problems later in life

In case you missed it, Prevent Blindness launched the Retinopathy of Prematurity Education and Support program in February. Resources include:

Three fact sheets:

Resources for Families of Children with ROP

Retinopathy of Prematurity - Advice for Professionals
Watch the Video!

ROP Videos featuring a pediatric ophthalmologist, NICU nurse coordinator and psychologist, parents, youth and young adult patients, and parent support organizations.

Social media graphics

The ROP Education and Support Program and ROP Awareness Week is supported by funding from Regeneron.

12 Components of a Strong Vision Health System of Care

Screening vision is not an isolated, one-and-done event. Vision screening is a continuum that begins with family education and ends with an annual vision health program evaluation. Screening vision is the third of 12 Components of a Strong Vision Health System of Care. To view all 12 components, visit the NASN Vision and Eye Health web page, a partnership project between the National Association of School Nurses and the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health.

Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Training Course

Unless vision screeners are trained and certified in a standardized program that promotes evidence-based protocols, children and students may participate in vision screening with different tools and procedures depending on where they reside or which programs and schools they attend. This varied approach leads to potential under-referrals and inconsistencies that can drive inequalities in children’s vision, eye care, and eye health in the United States.

To help ensure a consistent and standardized approach, the Prevent Blindness Children's Vision Screening Certification Course provides training and national certification in evidence-based children's vision screening protocols and techniques. The Course also highlights ways to help decrease the gap between vision screening referrals and confirmatory eye examinations. In addition to online modules, the Course provides individualized virtual skills mentoring sessions using teach-back methodology to ensure screeners use tools correctly and are comfortable with how they screen vision and follow up with families. This nationally recognized certification is valid for 3 years. You will also receive 5 contact hours for professional development.

Find Out More

Give Help and Hope

Help us celebrate 15 years of providing you guidance to care for children's vision and eye health and make your gift today!

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