Is an Eye Exam On Your Child’s Back-to-School List?
It’s nearly time to send your children back to school. Did you know that good vision is one of the key factors in school success?
It’s true. As much as 80% of a child’s learning occurs visually, both in the classroom and at play.
Children who have poor vision skills often avoid reading and other close visual work (like math) as much as possible. They are also likely to tire more quickly and easily and have a shorter attention span. Vision issues may also mimic symptoms commonly attributed to ADHD.
So, along with your back-to-school shopping for new shoes and notebooks, you may want to consider scheduling your child for a back-to-school vision exam.
Properly developed vision is vital to a child’s growth and development. TO help you know whether it’s time for a check-up, Use the following guidelines to understand your child’s vision development.
Between ages 3 and 6, children continue the process of fine-tuning their vision skills. Preschool children begin to develop what most people call eye-hand coordination; general motor skills; and the necessary visual motor skills to learn how to read and write. If no previous vision problem has been detected, your child should have a thorough eye exam by age 3 to ensure vision is developing properly and to detect any developing eye diseases. If the child remains healthy, his or her next eye exam should be at age 5.
Astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness are the main vision concerns for school-age children. To detect and treat these problems, they should have their eyes checked around age 6 and every two years thereafter if no vision problems exist.
- Eye movement skills—the ability to keep eyes on target when looking from one object to another, following a moving object like a ball, and moving the eyes along a line of text on a printed page.
- Focusing skills—the ability to clearly see as the distance from objects change such as when looking from a paper on the desk to the chalkboard and back.
- Hand-eye coordination—the ability to use visual information to direct the hands when drawing a picture or trying to hit a ball.
- Near and distance vision—the ability to read the chalkboard AND the ability to read in a book.
- Visual Perception—the ability to organize information on a page or chalkboard into letters and words to understand and remember what it says.
Rather than rely solely on those periodic vision screenings by the school nurse that measure only whether children can actually read the letter on the eye chart, consider scheduling an appointment with an optometrist or ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye exam that will measure not only their visual acuity but check for other eye issues as well.
Spotting Eye Problems
Signs that a child may have vision problems and should be checked include:
- Constant eye rubbing
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Poor focusing
- Poor visual tracking (following an object)
- Abnormal eye alignment or movement after 6 months of age
- Chronic eye redness or tearing
- A white pupil instead of black
- Inability to see objects at a distance
- Inability to read the chalkboard
- Difficulty reading
- Sitting too close to the TV
- Struggling with schoolwork or a declining interest in schoolwork
Keeping your child’s vision healthy is an important part of their overall health. While eye care is not normally covered under most health insurance plans, vision care coverage is available at very affordable prices for both your child and you. To insure this most important component of your child’s health and success, click on the Contact Us button above or call Roper Insurance today at 303-721-1145.