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August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. If you are a parent, remember to take time amidst your back-to-school preparations to get your kids’ comprehensive eye examinations. It’s also a great time to educate your kids about eye health and safety.

Twelve million U.S. children have impaired vision, and many of these conditions result from eye injuries. In fact, eye injuries are the leading cause of vision loss in children.

The risks of physical damage to children, including eye injuries, is higher during and after disasters. Children are physically and emotionally vulnerable when disasters strike and need to be guided through the calamity with the help and assurance of their parents.

When there is an impending disaster, such as a hurricane, it is critical to help kids stay calm and walk them through the steps for handling emergencies. If the home becomes uninhabitable following a disaster, assure children that you will stay with them and ensure their ongoing care—not matter how your circumstances change. Kids can survive emergency situations if they are in the company of a familiar and trustworthy person.

As much as possible, children should be informed about what is going on around them during a disaster, but they should be shielded from images of people in varying states of distress. Those images could be frightening for children. Use discretion depending on your child’s age.

Be mindful of children’s eyes; they are more vulnerable than adults’. They should not be exposed to blinding lights, sparks, or pointed objects that could harm their eyes. Adults have spent a lifetime developing instincts to protect their eyes and their body in general, but children are not as adept. They may not be aware of the full scope of danger that accompanies various disasters.

To limit injuries in the wake of a disaster, reach out to the professionals as soon as possible to handle disaster clean up. If you live in the Beehive State, call in Utah disaster clean up specialists to make your environment safe and functional once again.