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Here’s Why Parents Should Add Back-To-School Eye Exams For Kids To The Checklist

The new school year is starting soon, and it’s time get ready! I am partnering with the American Optometric Association in a sponsored post to share the reasons that parents should add back-to-school eye exams for their kids to the to-do list. 

Annual back to school eye exams for kids are necessary for healthy eyes and success in school, sports, and beyond

As much as I am enjoying these lazy summer days with my kids, I know that back to school time is around the corner! We always have a plan for our back to school routine, we first go through all of our existing supplies, then make a checklist with everything else we need to do before school starts up again. This can include pens and pencils, backpacks, lunch boxes, clothes, shoes, and other supplies, as well as doctor’s well visits, hair cuts, and dental appointments. When planning our school to-do list, there is one major thing that I believe parents often overlook: back-to-school eye exams for kids.

Kid gets a routine eye exam at local optometrist

Wait – back-to-school eye exams? But, what if your child doesn’t wear glasses? The American Optometric Association (AOA), a leading advocate for proper eye and vision health care, wants parents to know that comprehensive eye exams are for much more than just glasses, and that they should be scheduled annually. Also, if you don’t get an eye exam, how would you be completely sure if your child does or doesn’t need glasses? 

Why Parents Should Add Back-To-School Eye Exams For Their Kids To The Checklist

I took my kids in to our local optometrist’s office for their annual eye exams. There are lots of state-of-the-art optical tools and digital equipment, as well as the old school eye chart that make the process very quick, painless, and affordable. I encourage you to take your kids as well – 74% of parents with children who wear glasses say that their child’s vision problem was identified during a routine comprehensive eye exam. Here’s why parents should add comprehensive children’s eye exams to their back-to-school checklist.

Getting a child's eye exams annually is necessary for optimal kids eye health

Checking kids eye health before the school years start

Did you know that eye exams should be given as early as toddler age? Yep. When a child reaches preschool age, the AOA guidelines state “they should get an in-person comprehensive eye and vision examination at least once between the ages of 3 and 5 to prevent and/or diagnose and treat any eye or vision conditions that may affect visual development.” It makes perfect sense to catch any kids eye health issues early for future success!

The eyes play an important role in a child’s education

At school, much of a student’s learning is through the eyes. Reading, writing, computer and tablet use, art, and seeing the board in the front of the classroom are all essential for a child’s success in school. In my opinion, this is the most important reason to add back-to-school eye exams for your kids to your to-do list. If they cannot see properly, how can they learn and keep up in class?

Baseball player up to bat

Healthy eyes are needed for sports and extracurricular activities

My kids play sports, and they’re pretty good at what they do. In order for my baseball playing son to pitch down the line and hit that ball with the bat, he has to have good vision, as well as distance and depth perception to do so. Just like hitting a baseball, kicking a soccer ball, playing tether ball, wall ball, four square, and dribbling and shooting a basketball all require good hand-eye coordination. According to the AOA, “A child’s brain learns how to use the eyes to see, the same way it uses its mouth to form words. The longer a vision problem goes undiagnosed or untreated, the more a child’s brain learns to adapt to the vision problem. Uncorrected vision problems can create obstacles for children and make it harder for them to reach their full potential.”

Kids eye health and vision unexpectedly change over the years

Like the rest of the body, a child’s vision can unexpectedly change quite a bit from the ages of 6-18. Parents, and sometimes even kids, won’t really know that there is a problem without getting a routine eye exam for kids. Common symptoms for vision issues include complaints about headaches, covering one eye, holding reading materials very close to their face, tilting the head while concentrating, or suddenly having a short attention span. Many of these issues can be prevented with annual comprehensive eye exams.

My bedtime routine - Kids reading before going to bed at night

Annual eye exams and kids eye health are important for success! 

School success, sports, extracurricular activities, and overall eye health are very important to us, and that’s why we’ve decided to add annual back-to-school eye exams to our to-do checklist each year. The eye exam process was very easy, a quick 15-minute appointment sends our kids off to school ready to succeed! For more information about annual eye exams and kids eye health, visit the American Optometric Association online, find a local optometrist with their doctor locator, and follow along with AOA on Facebook and Twitter for updates! 

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of American Optometric Association . The opinions and text are all mine.


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