It’s the time of year that kids dread and parents look forward to: back-to-school time. Research has shown that about 80% of learning through the first 12 years comes from vision, so back-to-school is a time when parents should be thinking about their children’s eyesight. Unfortunately, not enough of them do. Only about 50% of kids have had an eye exam by the time they graduate from high school. It has been estimated that up to 80% of kids who get a vision screening at school do not get a follow-up eye exam, and these screenings miss a lot of problems. Many parents think that a school vision screening is a substitute for an eye exam.
Kids’ vision problems can affect several aspects of learning, including reading comprehension, eye-hand coordination (especially important for sports), attention span, and the child’s overall confidence at school. Parents need to understand the importance of frequent eye exams for their kids. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children should have their first eye exam at about six months, another at age 5 or 6, and annually after that.
Parents should also be alert to the warning signs that a child is having vision problems. According to the AOA, these include:
· Frequent eye rubbing or blinking · Avoiding reading and other close activities · Frequent headaches · Covering one eye · Tilting the head to one side · Holding reading materials close to the face The full list can be found here.
At back-to-school time, parents are thinking about their children’s education, so it’s a great time to teach them about the importance of excellent vision in learning. You can do it through your website, your Facebook page and other social media. (By the way, if you’re interested in effective and very affordable social media, we’ve got it! Call us at 800-833-4779 or talk to your GSRx rep to find out more.) GSRx’s prices also mean that you can make kids’ eyewear affordable for parents and profitable for your practice.