There’s always a lot to do when preparing for kids to start back to school: get school supplies, purchase new clothes and shoes, attend any back-to-school functions, and perhaps even get a physical. But there’s something else that should be on that to-do list: a back-to-school eye exam.
Many parents overlook it, but a comprehensive eye exam before going back to school is just as important as that annual physical. While kids may experience no significant eye issues or problems over the summer months, their eyes are still changing. In fact, from the ages of six to 18, a child’s vision changes frequently, and routine eye exams can help prevent any potential problems that arise. A few of the common issues that can arise in school-aged children include nearsightedness (which is commonly developed in children around the age of six or seven and can seriously worsen around the ages of 11 to 13), farsightedness, misaligned eyes, and lazy eye. Issues such as these going undetected can lead to daily hindrances for kids, including eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. These issues aren’t just distracting, but they can also lead to all sorts of learning and behavioral problems at school because vision takes a prominent role in classroom learning. Studies show that during the first 12 years of a child’s life, 80% of their learning is visual.
Oftentimes, parents have the false assumption that the vision screenings performed at school are effective in detecting vision problems—thus thinking a trip to the eye doctor’s office is unnecessary—but that’s actually not the case. The types of screenings typically performed at school only look at distance vision and visual sharpness and they typically miss most types of vision problems. Common symptoms to look out for if a child is experiencing an eye issue is a tendency to cover one eye, frequent headaches, holding reading material to close to the face, and frequent blinking/eye rubbing. It’s important for parents to watch for symptoms such as these because often kids don’t understand they have a problem or don’t know how to explain it.
Eye exams aren’t only for when something is wrong. They are an important part of a child’s well-being, and they should always be on the back-to-school to-do list. Send your child back to school with better vision. Give us a call today.