Back To School Eye Exams
Backpacks, lunch boxes, clothes shopping – it’s back to school time! When you mark off items on your ‘Back-To- School’ checklist, don’t forget to make an eye exam appointment for your child. Have you been bombarded with all of the health forms and documents that need to be filled out for your little one to either go back to school or start a new adventure in attending school for the first time? With all of the hustle and bustle of buying new clothes, school supplies, getting immunizations, and reviewing schedules, something as simple as your child’s eyesight can be overlooked.
Children often start their first few years of school without having a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist. According to the American Optometric Association, 49% of parents have not had an eye exam on their children who are under six years of age, by an optometrist. A comprehensive eye exam is different than the eye screenings done by your pediatrician and/or school nurse. The organization also states as much as 80% of a child’s learning happens through his or her eyes. From reading and writing, to using a computer or writing on the blackboard, vision is a necessary component to excelling in school. While you can tell when your child is sick it is nearly impossible to determine when there is a problem that could be affecting their vision.
Young children with vision problems are unlikely to tell their teachers and parents because they don’t realize the source of the problem. Did you know that 1 in 4 children have an undetected vision problem?
It’s crucial, therefore, for adults to watch the children in our care for symptoms such as:
- Poor reading comprehension
- Slow to finish schoolwork
- Short attention span for close work
- Tendency to fidget and look away from work
- Frequent headaches
- Tendency to cover one eye
- Frequent blinking or eye-rubbing
With August being Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, we want to remind parents of the importance of scheduling routine eye exams for children starting at the age of three. There is no better time to schedule your child’s checkup than before they start back to school and after-school schedules and activities become hectic.
By having routine eye visits, eye doctors can monitor your child’s vision and eye health. This will help to detect any problems with your children’s eyes that could affect their vision long-term. If their vision deteriorates, you may also see a decline in your child’s grades as struggling to see may set them at a disadvantage when it comes to watching and understanding what is being taught.
An undiagnosed eye problem could result in an academic setback in just a few short months. Some behavior problems could be linked to vision issues. These students may seem uninterested or unfocused in school when in actuality they simply cannot see clearly.
We also want to stress the importance of eye safety. As school starts back, fall sports are in full swing. As high school sports become faster-paced and highly competitive, more injuries are occurring. Eye injuries are often top of the list. By having your children wear the proper eye protection you can help reduce the chances of sustaining an eye injury, an injury that could leave them with permanent vision loss.
Learning is fun. Make sure your child is equipped with the right tools to succeed. To schedule your child’s exam, contact our Bakerstown office at 724-443-6767 or the Natrona Heights Office at 724-226-0444.
About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit bisselleyecare.com or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.