As summer vacation is winding down, it is time to prepare for back-to-school. Shopping for new clothes, the perfect backpack, and new school supplies. Just as importantly is getting a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
Studies have found that 80% of learning is visual during the first twelve years of a child’s life. From ages 6 to 12, a child’s vision can change frequently or unexpectedly, which can lead to behavioral and attention issues in the classroom. 1 in 4 children have undiagnosed vision problems.
A child with poor vision or even Dyslexia can pass a vision screening given by the school nurse or by your child’s pediatrician – not to say these simple vision screenings are a waste of time, but watch how your child reacts during these exams for signs of struggling or straining to see that may be a sign of other issues.
AOA reminds parents:
- Pediatric eye exams are covered by your health insurance.
- Look for common indicators of vision and eye health issues, which include covering one eye, holding reading materials close to the face, a short attention span and complaints of headaches or other discomforts.
- Prevent digital eye strain by monitoring use of digital devices. Follow the 20-20-20 rule – take a break of 20 seconds or longer, every 20 minutes and look at something 20 feet away, blinking frequently.
- Wear proper eye protection for sports and outdoor activities, also if your child does have a lot of screen time lenses that filter blue light. In addition to digital eye strain, studies have shown blue light contributes to disruption of the sleep cycle, that can lead to adverse health effects and learning issues that result from poor sleep. Parents you want to limit the screen time close to bedtime.