The Smart Move: Back-to-School Eye Exams for Children and Teens
October 11, 2023
As summer winds down and back-to-school season approaches, parents have a myriad of tasks to check off their list. From shopping for school supplies to coordinating schedules, it's easy to overlook one crucial aspect of your child's academic success—ensuring their vision is in top shape. While back-to-school preparations usually focus on notebooks and backpacks, making an appointment for an annual eye exam is equally important. Here's why:
Set Them Up for Success in the Classroom
A significant portion of a child's learning experience occurs through visual cues. From reading the whiteboard to completing assignments, clear and comfortable vision is essential for academic success. Undiagnosed vision problems can lead to difficulty concentrating, lower reading comprehension, and even behavioural issues in the classroom. A comprehensive eye exam can identify potential vision issues and provide the necessary solutions to give your child the best chance of excelling academically.
Annual Eye Exams Covered by OHIP
Here's some good news for parents in Ontario: annual eye exams for children under the age of 19 are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). This means you won't have to worry about the cost of the exam. It's a valuable resource to ensure your child's eyes are in excellent condition and ready for the challenges of the new school year.
Beat the Back-to-School Rush: Book Early
Timing is everything, and booking an eye exam early can save you from extra hassle during the back-to-school rush. Optometrists' schedules tend to fill up quickly as the school year draws near. By scheduling your child's eye exam well in advance, you can ensure they receive proper care without the last-minute scramble.
Early Intervention: Infants Are No Exception
When it comes to eye health, age is not a barrier. In fact, it's even more crucial to have young children's eyes examined. Unlike adults, children might not be able to articulate their vision difficulties. They might not even realize they're experiencing problems because blurry vision could be their normal. Regular eye exams for young children can catch issues such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) that, if left untreated, could hinder their visual development.
6 Signs Your Child Might Need Glasses
As vigilant parents, it's essential to watch for signs that your child might be experiencing vision problems. Keep an eye out for:
- Frequent Squinting: If your child often squints while looking at distant objects or reading, it could indicate they struggle to focus properly.
- Tilting or Covering One Eye: Children with vision issues may tilt their heads or cover one eye to alleviate discomfort or improve focus.
- Sitting Too Close: If your child habitually sits too close to the TV or holds books very close to their face while reading, it might signal nearsightedness.
- Complaining of Headaches or Eye Strain: Frequent headaches or eye strain could indicate your child exerts extra effort to see clearly.
- Avoiding Reading or Close-up Activities: If your child is avoiding activities that require them to focus up close, it might be due to difficulty seeing clearly.
- Poor Hand-Eye Coordination: Vision problems can affect a child's hand-eye coordination and depth perception, making activities like catching a ball or threading a needle challenging.
As the new school year approaches, prioritize your child's eye health by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam. A simple eye exam today can lead to a brighter, more successful academic journey for your child tomorrow. Book an appointment for your family today!
Dr. Robert Lima