This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation
for Influence Central. All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.
Did you know that August is Eye Exam Awareness Month? It’s a national public awareness campaign that promotes the benefit of eye health–a reminder to all of us to get our annual comprehensive eye exam! It’s also a great time to think about our kids’ eyes–to set them up for success at school–by prioritizing their eye health (approximately 80% of everything children learn comes through their eyes)! If you haven’t scheduled an eye exam for kids yet, we’ve got some resources and statistics to share with you–including where to go online to search and find a trusted eye doctor.
As parents know, the days (or weeks) leading up to “Back To School” can get pretty hectic. Over the years, some of us have gotten a system down to make sure that our home and/or kitchen is back-to-school-ready, our vehicles are in good running condition, our kids’ wardrobe / uniforms are all set, and that we’ve hauled all the necessary school supplies to ensure a bright academic future for our kids. We’ve also successfully scheduled their physical exam waaayyy ahead of time (because these appointment slots fill up really quickly) to make sure that it’s all in order long before the first day of school. But what about their eye health? Did you know that only 40% of parents feel that an eye exam is a key part of a child’s healthy checkup schedule, while the other 60% feel otherwise? It’s a stark contrast from the roughly 80% who say that an annual trip to the dentist and pediatrician are essential.
When our son’s preschool teacher noticed him squinting…
An annual comprehensive eye exam is one of those important things that we too had been guilty of setting aside–perhaps because it isn’t a school requirement… perhaps. Until our firstborn’s preschool teacher mentioned something about him squinting while trying to read what she was writing on the board. Enter our son’s first ever comprehensive eye exam.
As predicted, he needed a pair of eyeglasses.
Early detection is crucial
Experts say that 5% to 10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-aged children have eye problems. Both of our kids happen to be among them. We had our second child’s eyes checked just before entering preschool. Sure enough, he needed eyeglasses, too. It’s important to start early when it comes to ensuring their eye health, because early detection of a child’s vision problems is crucial. As parents, we certainly don’t want to run the risk of permanent vision loss if left untreated. We’re very thankful for our son’s preschool teacher for having caught the subtle signs of our son needing to get his eyes checked right away. Not all teachers will catch those signs, but a visit to the eye doctor will.
Kids don’t know what “normal” vision is
For us, scheduling a comprehensive eye exam before school starts in the fall allows for an optometrist to catch and correct any vision problems that may negatively affect our kids’ academic performance. Kids don’t really know or understand what “normal” vision is–as is the case in our experience–so we can’t really rely or wait for them to say that they aren’t seeing well. Our son even expressed that he could see “just fine” before we took him in for his first comprehensive eye exam. We may have been among the nearly 24% of parents who waited for their child to have symptoms before taking him to see an eye doctor, but that ended with our first son. Lesson learned. The reality is, ½ of parents falsely believe that only children who need eyeglasses or contacts need to see an eye doctor. Sadly, 86% of children do not receive a comprehensive eye exam.
Don’t forget to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam
I’m thankful for my mom for always remembering to get my eyes checked before the start of the school year. I can’t believe how quickly I had forgotten about that after having my first child (now, we have four children). Besides keeping my attitude in check (…ahemmm…), she did her very best to remove all obstacles from my path to success. She knew that by doing so, the grades will follow (instead of the other way around). She understood the importance of eye health and early detection–when children’s eye problems are most treatable before they pose more complex challenges in school or elsewhere. I hope to follow her example, so we will continue to schedule our kids’ annual comprehensive eye exams around the same time as we do their physical exams (before the start of the school year). They just go hand in hand!
Click here to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam and locate a trusted eye doctor for your child(ren).
To learn more about kids’ vision, visit Think About Your Eyes and take a moment to watch this video.