Where did the summer go?! As much fun as summer days have been, many parents and kids are already in back-to-school mode.
Back-to-school checklists generally include:
✔ school supplies
✔ new clothes and shoes
A critical item missing from this checklist is a comprehensive eye exam!
Every child deserves to be set up for success for the new school year, and scheduling your child for a comprehensive eye exam at Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines will help them achieve it.
Why Do Children Need Regular Eye Exams?
For starters, children are like sponges and learn about the world through their senses. Research has shown that up to 80% of classroom learning occurs through a child’s vision.
So it’s not surprising that children who can’t read what’s written on the board or who get headaches from doing their math homework feel frustrated. If your child is having trouble concentrating or acting out in class, they could have a vision problem.
Issues with their vision can make it challenging to read, do written work, focus, catch a ball and even socialize with their peers. A child’s vision can affect every part of their life, both inside and outside the classroom.
Many children don’t even realize they have a vision problem, or are unable to communicate what’s challenging for them.
That's where a pediatric eye exam comes in.
Your child’s eye doctor can do a comprehensive pediatric eye exam to assess your child’s eyesight, eye health and visual skills like eye teaming and tracking. In partnership with you, the optometrist can ensure that your child receives the care they need.
When Should You Take Your Child For an Eye Exam?
Routine eye exams should start around six months of age, and while this may seem young, it’s critical to catch any problems as early as possible. If your child’s vision is developing normally, their next visit can be at age 2-3 and again before entering 1st grade.
After that, it’s recommended that children have an annual eye exam until the age of 18, or as recommended by their eye doctor. An easy way to remember to take your child every year is to add it to your back-to-school checklist!
So, eye exams are an easy item to cross off your checklist, and a great way to support your child’s success in school. To schedule your child’s appointment, call Dr. Hopkins & Associates Optometry in Niagara-on-the-Lake or St. Catharines today.
Is a comprehensive eye exam the same as a school vision screening?
No. School vision screenings, which are very basic, are no substitute for a comprehensive eye exam. During an eye exam, the eye doctor assesses the internal and external health of your child’s eye as well as their vision. The eye doctor will evaluate eye movement, eye teaming, depth perception, peripheral vision and more. The earlier a problem is found, the sooner treatment can begin.
What are some signs that your child is having vision problems?
Some common signs of vision problems are frequent headaches, avoiding reading and other up-close activities, frequent eye rubbing, short attention span and tilting of the head to see more clearly. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s a good idea to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.