THE ESSENTIAL CHECKUP YOUR LITTLE ONE MIGHT BE MISSING
With September fast approaching, it’s time to start back-to-school shopping and prep. Isla is starting Kindergarten this year and as a former teacher, I know learning can be greatly impacted by vision. There have been many studies that show a direct link between visual difficulties and dropping out of school; 80% of a child’s learning is done through their vision! So, I wanted to get Isla’s eyes checked before she started classes to make sure there were no signs of possible issues.
Statistics show that only 1 in 3 children will have their eyes checked before their first school year. As a parent, you play an important role in helping to ensure your child’s eyes and vision develop properly. If you are worried about your child not know the alphabet, don’t be! Your optometrist will use a variety of shapes and pictures to determine your child’s focusing characteristics.
Did you know that you should have your little one examined by an optometrist as early as 6 months of age? The next appointment should be around the age of 3, then before entering school at age 4/5, and every year from 6 years old to adulthood. Alberta Health Care even covers the cost of comprehensive eye exams for all children until they turn 19! The Eye See…Eye Learn program supplements that coverage by providing free eyeglasses to Kindergarten children who require a prescription. Now that I have Isla on a schedule with her optometrist, I’ve made sure to add Noa’s first examine to my calendar.
A complete pediatric eye exam will not only make sure that your child is seeing 20/20, but also identify any potential or existing eye health issues. With 6 major eye muscles, it is important to make sure everything is working well and strengthening as it should be. At our recent visit I learned most vision and eye health conditions have no symptoms. Children may not complain about not seeing well because they are used to seeing this way. It is our job as parents to be proactive!
Eye health doesn’t stop at the optometrist. Children are more sensitive to ultraviolet rays so protecting your child’s eyes from the sun is very important. I make sure Isla and I always have our sunglasses with us when we’re playing outside!
How long has it been since your child saw an Optometrist?
Check out www.iris.ca for more info and find an optometrist in your area.