Advice for Parents on Back-to-School Eye Exams

As a parent, you clearly see how important back-to-school physicals are for your kids. An annual visit with the pediatrician provides the peace of mind of knowing your child is developing normally, up-to-date on immunizations and in good health. But are you overlooking something? Kids also need to see an eye doctor regularly.

Good vision is essential for your child to succeed in the classroom. Not being able to read the board is not only frustrating, it can hold your child back academically. Straining to see can also cause headaches, short attention spans, and burning, tired eyes. Make sure you know all the signs of a vision problem.

Why Kids Need Vision Exams

Even the most caring, informed parents can overlook the importance of eye exams with an optometrist. A lot of parents rely on the vision screenings conducted at their child’s school to spot problems. Yet most schools test only to see if your child has 20/20 vision. The vision technician is not trained to recognize other eye or vision problems.

To keep your children’s eyes healthy, the American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends thorough eye examinations every two years for children ages 6-18. Kids may need more frequent visits if they have certain eye conditions or risk factors.

Other Reasons to See the Eye Doctor

There are more reasons than ever these days to make sure your children are checked regularly:

  • Most kids spend hours every day staring at electronic devices. A recent AOA study found 83 percent of pre-teens and teens spend three or more hours a day staring at pixels. Looking at a digital screen – including smart phones – puts extra stress on the eye. The more time a child is glued to a screen, the greater the chances of developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). Because they live in a digital age, kids can suffer from vision problems that didn’t exist a generation ago.
  • Kids playing sports can benefit from eye exams. Are your kids involved in team sports? Sharp vision, good depth perception and a wide field of vision are vital for your kids to be at the top of their game. Depending on the sport, many young athletes need protective eyewear. Kids who wear glasses or contacts can benefit from specially-fitted eyewear tailored to protect their eyes and help them see perfectly. And don’t forget, kids playing outside need protection from harmful ultraviolet rays.

If your kids haven’t seen L P E D on a vision chart lately, it’s time for a complete vision screening. Every parent knows kids need clear vision to excel at school, sports and life in general.

Meet the Author

Aurora Vision Center offers comprehensive ophthalmology and optometry services in 13 convenient locations throughout Wisconsin.

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The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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