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Help Your Child SEE to Succeed

You dutifully take your child to the dentist every six months. You take them to the pediatrician when they have the sniffles. You do everything in your power to make sure they grow up healthy and happy.

However, many parents don’t realize the importance of scheduling regular eye examinations for their children. If you fall into this category, you may also be unaware of the myriad of ways good – and bad – vision can affect your child’s performance in school, sports, and even their behavior.

Note that vision screening at school or by your child’s pediatrician is not the same as a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist. Vision screenings are a limited process and can’t be used to diagnose an eye or vision problem, but rather may indicate a potential need for further evaluation. Moreover, they often only test for nearsightedness (not being able to see the chalkboard, for example) as opposed to farsightedness (problems with reading a textbook). They may miss as many as 60% of children with vision problems. Even if a vision screening does not identify a possible vision problem, your child may still have one.

Even if you do not notice any eye or vision problems with your child, they should have a thorough eye exam by the time they are 6 months old. During this exam, they will be tested for excess or unequal amounts of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, eye movement ability, and eye health. As long as your child’s eyes are healthy they should have eye exams at 3 and 5 years of age prior to entering school. Your child’s visual abilities are developed through these early years; crossed eyes or lazy eyes can develop at this time as well, and if caught early can usually be corrected. From 6 through 18 years of age eye exams are recommended every two years.

“Eighty percent of all learning is performed through vision. Make sure your child has the best possible tools to learn successfully.”*

According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have eye or vision problems. However, children this age generally will not voice complaints about their eyes.

*American Optometric Association

Academics

School achievement is very dependent on reading. No matter how far your child goes in the educational system, the importance of reading and the amount of reading increases every year. • Reading requires both eyes to be directed at the same point on the page. An ability to turn both eyes a bit inward (called …



Behavior

Are you struggling with your child’s unexplained behavior problems? Do they regularly get in trouble at school or act out at home? Behavior problems are a key marker for poor vision in children. Vision problems are sometimes linked to behavior problems, frustration, and feelings of inferiority. You may see marked vision changes as well …



Sports

From hand-eye coordination to depth perception, your child’s success in sports or any physical activity is highly dependent on the quality of their vision. • Nearsightedness (myopia) causes blur, especially when looking at distances over 20 feet or so. Children who sit very close to the TV may do so because they see better at …



Technology

Effects of Technology on Your Child’s Vision Your child’s eyesight faces an entirely new set of challenges from what you experienced growing up. Constantly bombarded with computer screens, video games, television, and even 3D movies, your child’s eyes are constantly adapting. According to the American Optometric Association, “Children frequently ignore problems that would be addressed …



Vision Problems

What Are the Signs of Vision Problems in Children? Oftentimes children are completely unaware of any issues with their vision – that’s just “how they see”. So how do you know when your child is living with subpar sight? Symptoms that can indicate a child may have a vision-related reading problem include: a. Does well …