Children’s Eye Health and Safety
There’s nothing worse than hearing a bloodcurdling scream from a child, a clear indicator that something is wrong and worse – it really hurts! Prevent Blindness, a national eye health and safety group, reminds us to always be on alert when it comes to children’s eye health and safety.
Parents have the opportunity to make their child’s eye health a priority as they head back to school. Every two years between the ages of three and six years old, TRICARE covers an eye exam by an optometrist or ophthalmologist as eye care provider. These exams focus on regular vision services like eye exams and screenings. You won’t need a referral or authorization to visit an optometrist.
Ophthalmologists are eye specialists. They provide regular vision services like an optometrist in addition to medical and surgical services for your eyes. You will need a referral and/or authorization for an ophthalmologist visit, depending on your plan. This exam should include screening for amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (crossed eyes). There is no cost for well-child exams, regardless of plan, and this is a great time to ask about special protection for your child’s eyes during sport activities and UV (sunlight) protection.
Eye Spy and Star Pupils are eye health and safety education programs designed specifically for children. Eye Spy is a free online program where children have an opportunity to learn about eye anatomy, how the eye works and eye safety. Star Pupils is an eye health and safety curriculum from Prevent Blindness America. Teachers may use Eye Spy as well as Star Pupils in their classroom. For more information on these programs, visit www.preventblindness.org/vision-programs.
For more information on eye exams and specifics of your TRICARE plan coverage, visit www.tricare.mil/eyeexams and download the Vision Benefits Fact Sheet.