Book Your Children’s Eye Exams Before School Starts!


Book Your Children’s Eye Exams Before School Starts!


With summer already half-over, it’s time for us parents to start prepping the kids for back to school. Backpacks and school supplies are often top of mind, but something many of us forget to do is book our children’s annual eye exams! Summer is the perfect time to visit the optometrist, to check for vision problems that could interfere with learning. My children actually had their eye exam today – thanks to my optometrist’s yearly reminder!


As a former high school teacher, I know firsthand how important vision is to student learning and academic success. Over 80 percent of school learning is visual! Students spend much of the school day reading, writing, and using computers. Of course, recess and gym class also require optimal vision for safety and performance.


Shockingly, one in four children have a vision problem, which can be mislabeled as a learning disability or behavioural difficulty. The best way to ensure a vision problem is not missed is to take your children for their annual eye exam. It’s quite common for parents and children to not realize there is a vision problem. Often, children don’t know anything is wrong as it’s all they’ve known, and parents don’t realize there is an issue because one eye may be compensating for the other.


While difficult to spot, there are some warning signs that may indicate vision problems in kids:

  • sitting close to the TV or holding tablets and books close
  • Losing their place while reading or using a finger to guide when reading
  • Squinting or tilting the head to see better
  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing
  • Closing one eye to read or watch TV
  • Avoiding reading, sports, or other recreational activities
  • Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  • Avoiding screens because it “hurts my eyes”

Did you know there is Alberta Health coverage towards annual eye exams for children under 19? Make this a part of your back-to-school prep to ensure any vision or eye health problems are detected early and to give yourself peace of mind.


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