Healthy Vision Helps Kids Succeed

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Healthy Vision Helps Kids Succeed; Inside and Outside of the Classroom

By VSP Vision Care optometrist, Dr. Nathan Bonilla-Warford

For more information about children’s eye health, visit www.SeeMuchMore.com.

Every year, as part of our back-to-school routines, we schedule our children’s yearly general wellness exams, purchase school supplies and make sure they have an updated wardrobe. But one thing that’s critical to children’s performance, yet we often overlooked, is their annual eye exam.

eye exam
Source: Flickr.com

One in four children has an undetected vision condition and since eye health plays a major role in academic growth, it’s common for vision problems to be mistaken for a learning disability. Experts believe that 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes, making a comprehensive eye exam one of the most important ways parents can give their child the best chance at success in school.

Several common signs that may indicate a child is having trouble with his or her vision are:

  • Losing place on the page when reading
  • Consistently rubbing the eyes
  • Tilting the head when looking at an object
  • Frequent headaches
  • Squinting to read or watch TV
  • Avoiding “close work” or holding things close to the face to see them
  • Poor grades and/or behavioral problems

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, it’s time for a visit to the eye doctor. And, even if he or she doesn’t have any symptoms, it’s recommended that your child receive a comprehensive eye examination at six months of age, before entering preschool, before beginning kindergarten, and every year following that.

What about an in-school screening? The short answer: it’s not enough. A comprehensive eye exam may detect what basic school vision screenings can’t. While in-school screenings help identify some vision problems, such as near- and farsightedness, they don’t ensure that the eyes are actually healthy. For instance, two common vision problems an in-school screening can miss are eye coordination and lazy eyes. If caught early, these conditions may be corrected.  Furthermore, in-school screenings don’t test for health conditions that a comprehensive eye exam can detect like diabetes and hypertension.

Having healthy vision helps kids succeed both in and out of the classroom! So this year, be sure to schedule your child’s annual vision exam.

If your child is nervous about getting an eye exam, share these fun coloring sheets and a story book about a child’s first exam to help him or her feel more comfortable. And be sure to check out the “ABCs of Eye Exams” page to help you and your child learn what to expect during a vision exam.

For more information, visit VSP Vision Care’s “Learn About Your Eyes” page on www.SeeMuchMore.com.

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48 thoughts on “Healthy Vision Helps Kids Succeed

  • November 29, 2013 at 10:18 pm
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    Sometime between 2 and 3 years old Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm
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    They got it at 7. Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 8:55 pm
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    My youngest was 4 Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm
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    My son was nine Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm
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    At 8 years old. Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 7:36 pm
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    My daughter was 4 and my son was 2 as they were concerned with his vision when he went for a check-up. Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 5:18 pm
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    the pediatrician did an eye exam on him around 3 or 4... but he saw an eye dr when he was 4 (he got poked in the eye with a pencil at school) Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 4:46 pm
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    Mine will get their first eye exam at age 3 Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm
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    Well, I don't have any kids, but I remember getting my first at like 14. Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm
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    My oldest was 9 when we first noticed vision problems. So we took he and his 7 year old brother at the time. Thank you Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 10:11 am
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    My daughter had her first eye exam when she was 9 Reply
  • November 29, 2013 at 9:56 am
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    my oldest is 7 and still hasnt had her first Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm
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    7 years old Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 10:40 pm
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    I dont have kids yet but they will be checked within their first 2 years of age. Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 9:22 pm
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    at six years old Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm
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    My first exam was at age 7. Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 11:13 am
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    My son was 5 years old, knew he needed glasses from a very early age Reply
  • November 28, 2013 at 7:10 am
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    My step son got his first eye exam when he was 6 years old. Reply
  • November 27, 2013 at 10:55 pm
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    It was age 5. He had to have one before he could go to kindergarten. They are so important! Reply
  • November 27, 2013 at 4:48 pm
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    my daughter was 4 and they did it at preschool Reply
  • November 26, 2013 at 4:50 pm
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    they have not had them yet Reply
  • November 25, 2013 at 10:39 pm
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    The first exam was at age 7. Reply
  • November 23, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    no kids, had my first one at 8 Reply
  • November 21, 2013 at 6:09 pm
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    I think my son was 3 or 4. My youngest which is 3 now will be going in this year. Reply
  • November 20, 2013 at 4:47 pm
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    I don't have any children but my first eye exam was at 6yrs old. Reply
  • November 20, 2013 at 4:04 am
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    My child received the first eye exam at age 4. Reply
  • November 19, 2013 at 6:18 pm
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    My son got his at 6 years old. Reply
  • November 19, 2013 at 3:54 pm
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    My daughter was 6 Reply
  • November 19, 2013 at 11:00 am
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    NO exams ... yet !!! =D Reply
  • November 16, 2013 at 11:53 am
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    My daughter received hers at 11 Reply
  • November 13, 2013 at 1:49 am
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    My daughter had one at 10 when she was having problems seeing in class..she's had glasses ever since. Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm
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    At three years old and all was well. Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm
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    has yet to happen Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm
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    I think at age 4. Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 10:56 am
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    Mine haven't had one yet! Reply
  • November 12, 2013 at 6:51 am
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    Age 2 :) Thanks!! Reply
  • November 11, 2013 at 10:34 pm
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    5 for school. Reply
  • November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm
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    My oldest child is four and has yet to have an eye exam, I need to arrange it. Reply
  • November 11, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    My daughter is four and has not yet had one- guess we need to do that soon Reply

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