When summer vacation winds down, it’s time to prepare for the new school year. Buying new uniforms and school supplies may be at the top of your to-do list, but there are other steps you can take to help your child get ready for school, and checking your child’s eyesight is one of them.
The Importance of an Eye Exam
Vision problems are common among school-age children, but many children don’t complain about their eyes because they don’t realize that their vision is abnormal. Undetected vision problems can have a significant impact on all aspects of a child’s development. When children have difficulty seeing, their intellectual and social development can suffer. They’re far more likely to experience frustration when learning and, consequently, underperform in school.
Eye problems in children often go undetected for months or even years because parents and teachers don’t make the link between vision problems and poor school performance. Undetected vision problems can elicit many of the same signs and symptoms commonly attributed to behavioral issues such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Due to these similarities, it’s not unknown for a child to be labeled as special needs simply because of undetected eye problems.
Preparing Your Child for an Eye Exam
The best way to protect your children’s eye health and boost their ability to learn is to take them for an eye exam. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated, the more likely treatment will be successful, and the better your children’s chances of reaching their full potential.
Your children may feel nervous about attending an eye exam, but there are many steps you can take to help them feel more at ease:
Explain what will happen during the eye exam. Take them to your eye exam so they can watch while you have your eyes examined.
Make sure they know that they’ll be asked to look at and identify objects. These could be pictures, letters or shapes.
Reassure them that there are no wrong answers. Encourage them to say what they see.
Schedule their eye exams for a time when they’ll be well-rested. Tiredness can affect the accuracy of the test.
Taking your child for an eye exam will help you ensure that your child starts the new school year able to see well enough to learn and play. It’s one of the best investments you can make in your child’s future.