Parents and caregivers want their kids to succeed in school. They provide backpacks, new school clothes and schedule after-school programs. But often they overlook one thing that directly impacts kids’ learning and behavior: their vision health. Eye doctors say that 25% of kids have vision or eye problems. They just don’t know what normal vision should be like.
Good vision: It’s more than 20/20
More than 80% of what kids learn passes through their eyes. Many kids complete vision screening exams with 20/20 eyesight. However, they may have other vision problems that impact their ability to learn. Watch this video to learn more.
How vision health helps kids succeed
Kids need vision that can handle complex demands on their eyes. Here are four things kids’ eyes should help them do:
1. See clearly at a distance and close up
2. Understand the words so they can learn and remember
3. Use eye-hand coordination for sports and other activities
4. Recognize the difference between letters, such as b and d, and e and c
Know the signs of vision problems
Children with vision problems are unable to tell parents and caregivers that they have problems seeing. It’s largely because they think everyone sees words and objects as they do.
Here are 10 common symptoms of vision problems:
- Avoids reading
- Loses place or covers one eye when reading or seeing
- Tilts head when reading
- Complains frequently of headaches
- Dislikes close-up work, such as reading, homework or artwork
- Struggles to remember what they read
- Sits close to the TV or holds digital devices close to their face
- Squints when viewing things at a distance
- Expresses frustration about reading the writing on the blackboard/whiteboard
- Shows restlessness or has a short attention span
In addition, review six things to know about screen time and vision health.
Schedule regular eye exams
Kids need to see the eye doctor regularly to ensure their eyes are developing correctly. During the exam, the eye doctor will check the child’s vision health and look for signs of problems that may affect reading and learning.
The American Optometric Association recommends scheduling eye exams at 6 months, at age 3 and before kids start school. Set up additional eye exams as recommended by your eye doctor. Read more about the importance of vision health to help kids succeed in school.
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