August marks Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, a time to pay closer attention to any conditions that may threaten a child's vision. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) proudly supports vision care through its organizational members that have developed standards related to eye safety.
Did you know that nearly 25 percent of school aged children have vision problems? Eye safety starts with routine eye examinations to rule out any potential conditions, which can range from color blindness to contagious infections, or even poor eyesight, which can contribute to other problems, such as headaches or lower grades.
For those with less than perfect vision, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has developed the standard ISO 14534:2011 Ophthalmic optics - Contact lenses and contact lens care products - Fundamental requirements. It specifies safety and performance requirements for contact lenses, contact lens care products, and other accessories for contact lenses, a popular alternative to eye glasses and frames. This standard was developed by ISO Technical Committee (TC) 172, Subcommittee (SC) 7 Ophthalmic Optics and instruments, with the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council serving as ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator.
Not everyone needs contacts or glasses, but with over a month of summer remaining, taking care of eyes with protective sunglasses is essential for everybody. ANSI Z80.3, Ophthalmics - Nonprescription Sunglass and Fashion Eyewear Requirement, is a standard that applies to all nonprescription sunglasses and fashion eyewear, normally used for casual, dress, and recreational purposes. This American National Standard was developed by Accredited Standards Committee Z80, for which The Vision Council serves as the Secretariat Administrator.
Even though protecting eyes during the summer is crucial to avoid long-term problems, standards can help support products that protect eyes in various back to school settings, including intensive sporting activities. A standard developed by ANSI member and audited designator ASTM International, ASTM F803-14, Standard Specification for Eye Protectors For Selected Sports, covers eye protectors that minimize or significantly reduce injury to the eye.
Prevent Blindness has additional information for parents on a baby's developing eyesight, as well as need-to-know information for children's vision as they learn and grow.