Back-to-School Vision Essentials for Children

Back-to-School Vision Essentials for ChildrenThe lazy days of summer are coming to a close. Not only is August the official start of back-to-school season, it’s also Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Along with buying backpacks, purchasing pencils and shopping for new shoes and clothes – parents are also encouraged to check an annual eye exam off their child’s back-to-school list.

Research has shown that 80 percent of what a child learns is processed through the visual system – which means a large part of a child’s ability to learn depends on their ability to see clearly. State-mandated vision screenings at the beginning of the school year are a crucial first step. However, according to the American Optometric Association, approximately 60 percent of vision problems can go undetected with just a vision screening.

Signs of vision issues in children include:
  • Squinting
  • Sitting close to the TV
  • Becoming distracted in school
  • Headaches
  • Loss of interest in reading
“Kids don’t always know what normal vision is - if a child is having vision trouble, they may not complain about it because they don't have anything to compare it to,” said Dr. Maria Parisi, associate dean of Clinical Affairs for The Eye Institute (TEI).

By the time they reach school-age, it’s recommended that children have an eye exam annually with an optometrist. While vision issues can sometimes go unnoticed, a comprehensive eye exam can reveal if there are more serious visual concerns.

Proper visual health goes beyond your child having an eye exam as recommended. Protecting their eyes from injury is one of the most overlooked aspects of eye care. If your child is involved in after-school sports, it’s important for them to wear protective glasses, goggles, and helmets.
These devices can help reduce the chance of eye injuries that may happen while participating in various recreational activities. It’s also important to inform your child’s optometrist about their hobbies and extracurricular activities so they can recommend the right type of eyewear to fit their needs.

This school year, don’t let vision problems impact your child’s success in the classroom and on the playing field. TEI offers comprehensive vision exams for children, protective eyewear solutions, vision therapy services and more. To schedule an appointment, call 215.276.6111.