5 Reasons Back-to-School Eye Exams for Kids Are Important
For many years, back-to-school lists included supplies such as pencils, notebooks, crayons, glue, markers and scissors. Today, other items have made their way onto the standard supply list. Typical school supplies now also include a box of tissue, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.
Like the yearly school supply list, many families used back-to-school as the time to schedule annual checkups with the doctor. However, experts now recommend including back-to-school eye exams for your children as part of the annual routine. Here are 5 reasons why eye exams for kids are important before going back to school.
Increased use of electronic devices puts strain on eyes
Today’s techno-savvy children often use multiple electronic devices daily. From smart phones to handheld gaming devices and tablet computers, kids are plugged in at a younger age than previous generations. Kimberly Friedman, O.D., an American Optometric Association representative says that when children stare at screens for hours every day, it can cause visual discomfort that can interfere with their ability to focus and learn.
School vision screening may not catch all vision issues
The basic school vision testing, often done within the first month of the school year, can be an indicator of vision issues but can’t diagnose every vision problem. According to Florida’s Orange County Public Schools, the basic Snelling test for 20/20 vision at a distance typically detects only 5 percent of all vision problems.
Vision problems may not have warning signs
If you see your child squinting to look at the computer screen, sitting inches from the television or holding a book close to his face when reading, it’s a sign there could be vision issues. These are obvious signs of vision problems. But not all vision problems have warnings. Annual children’s eye exams can catch issues early. If the diagnosis determines glasses are needed, SearsOptical.com offers a huge selection of fun frames for kids of all ages from designers such as Graffiti™, Kids in Motion™ and Mayhem™. Don’t forget a cool optical case (or two!), and there are several varieties to choose from, including cases dressed in animal prints and bright geometric shapes.
Back-to-school eye exams keep kids on regular checkup schedule
With hectic daily schedules, some things simply get forgotten. Before you know it, it’s Halloween and you still haven’t scheduled eye appointments for the kids. When scheduling the annual school physical or checkup, call your eye care professional and schedule back-to-school eye exams for the kids. Make it routine each July or early August.
Vision issues have direct impact on learning
Kids struggling to read instructions from the classroom’s whiteboard or distinguish details on a map can become frustrated and may lose interest in learning. If it’s hard to see to read, write and type on a keyboard, it’s very difficult to do your best as a student. If it’s been suggested your child has a learning disability, consider an eye exam to rule out vision issues that may be causing learning problems.