Every day we rely on our senses to navigate through the world. That’s why it’s important to check the health of our eyes, ears and teeth on a regular basis.
Dental, vision and hearing problems can impact your child’s life by affecting school success, and quality of life. Problems with eyes, ears and teeth can put a child at greater risk of injury, or could be signs of other serious medical conditions. Early detection, relating to eyes, ears and teeth, can help to correct issues before they become more serious.
There are plenty of ways to keep your child’s eyes, ears, and teeth healthy, including safety protection like a mouthguard, hearing protection and protective eyewear.
- The Ontario Association of Optometrists recommends children have a comprehensive eye exam at 6 months old, 3 years old, and once a year after that.
- Annual eye exams by an optometrist are covered by OHIP for anyone 19 years old and younger
- Lambton Public Health (LPH) conducts annual vision screening in Senior Kindergarten classes. Early detection of eye conditions and treatment is critical to children’s learning.
- Parents and guardians of children in SK will receive a notification that the screening is taking place at their child’s school at least 20 business days in advance of the screening date. The screening consists of three vision tests that take 10 minutes to complete.
- A letter chart to check visual acuities (HVOT)
- Looking at shapes with 3D glasses to check how the eyes work together (Randot)
- A picture is taken with an autorefractor to measure the eyes
Each child is sent home with a letter showing their screening results. All children with a potential eye condition are referred to a doctor.
- If you think your child may have vision problems, contact your healthcare provider or find an eye doctor in your community.
- Do you need financial assistance to get your children eyeglasses? Contact Lambton Public Health at 519-383-8331 to find local and provincial funding sources.
- Most newborns are routinely screened for hearing at birth in the hospital. If you have a newborn or infant and you have not done a hearing screen, hearing tests are available through Pathways Health Centre for Children.
- Don’t put anything into a young child’s ear including cotton swabs and other objects inserted into their ears can cause damage
- Limit exposure to high levels of noise, especially for young children
- There are lots of reasons why kids might have poor hearing, from simple obstruction (like ear wax) to ear infections or other functional problems in the body
- If you think your child may have a hearing problem, consult your health-care provider
- Brush your child’s teeth twice a day – you can use a clean washcloth to wipe their gums if there are no teeth
- When children can brush their own teeth (around age 7), ensure that they brush for two minutes twice a day and floss at least once a day
- Limit sugary foods and drinks to reduce the chance of cavities
- Visit your dentist regularly
Lambton Public Health (LPH) supports healthy teeth:
- LPH supports the addition of fluoride in our water to help protect your teeth
Your kid’s health
- LPH works with schools to provide vision and dental screening programs
- For eligible children 17 years or under, LPH can help you find access to dental care or provide preventive dental care and help with dental issues
- For eligible seniors 65 years or older, LPH can provide free routine dental care
Learn more about healthy eyes, ears and teeth for your kids.