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Standards Keep an Eye Out During Children's Eye Health and Safety Month

August marks the annual observance of Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, reminding all of us about the importance of regular eye checkups and eye safety for children and adolescents. Voluntary consensus standards are there to help all year long, providing useful information and guidance related to the systems and technologies that can help safeguard your child's sight.

Some children's eye health problems can only be identified through an eye exam, highlighting the importance regular eye examinations during a child's pediatric health appointments, as well as vision tests beginning at about the age of three. A standard from ASTM International, an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) member and audited designator, helps support the effective management of medical information obtained during these sorts of examinations. ASTM E2457-07(2013), Standard Terminology for Healthcare Informatics, names and documents the principal concepts and related terms used in the field of healthcare information and is intended to clarify usage regarding concepts associated with the conduct and management of healthcare services. ASTM E2457-07(2013) does not address safety concerns associated with use of the standard.

Addressing eye health needs often means providing children with eyeglasses with prescription lenses that can effectively manage refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. ISO 9802:1996, Raw optical glass -- Vocabulary¸ provides definitions for terms connected to raw optical glass, such as that used in lenses. The standard was developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 172, Optics and photonics, Subcommittee 3, Optical materials and components, Working Group (WG) 1, Optical materials and components. ANSI member and accredited standards developer the Optics and Electro-Optics Standards Council (OEOSC) serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO TC 172 and SC 3.

Taking appropriate safety precautions can do a great deal to reduce a child's risk of blindness or eye-related injury. For infants and other very small children, one of the largest risks to their sight is presented by sharp objects, toys, and furniture, including cribs, that have the potential to cause eye damage. A standard from ANSI audited designator UL (Underwriters Laboratories) provides safety-related guidance to help reduce those types of risks. UL 2275 (Ed. 1), Standard for Full-Size Baby Cribs, includes requirements associated with the testing of cribs' structural integrity that are intended to reduce the risk to an infant within a crib. It does not cover risks associated with devices used as crib attachments.

Eye safety is also an important consideration when taking baby for a stroll or playing in the park. Child-sized sunglasses are not just cute - they also provide helpful protection for developing eyes. ANSI Z80.3-2010, Nonprescription Sunglass and Fashion Eyewear Requirements, provides guidance for most types of nonprescription sunglasses, as well as other types of related fashion eyewear. This American National Standard was developed by ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer the Vision Council.

Protecting children's vision isn't something to take lightly: it requires vigilance, forethought, and effective precautions. But voluntary standards are standing by to provide essential guidance to assist the work that comes along with keeping children's eyes safe and healthy.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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