Back-to-school is often a hectic time for most parents as they scramble to check everything off their to-do lists. But even though vision is key to a child’s success at school, many parents forget to include eye exams in their late-summer prep. If you’re one of these parents, it’s important to get your little scholar’s eyes checked as 25 per cent of school-aged children have a vision problem according to the Canadian Association of Optometry.
“Children easily adjust to their surroundings and often don’t realize they cannot see clearly because they assume everyone sees the same way they do,” explains Amber Fournier, registered optician at the Sudbury Real Canadian Superstore. “Over three-quarters of visual learning happens in the first 12 years of a child’s life, so back-to-school is the perfect time for parents to book an eye exam for their child. It’s important that kids are able to see the chalkboard and any print and online materials to help them succeed in the classroom.”
Experts recommend that school-aged children receive an eye exam once a year. Most provincial health programs cover the cost of an annual exam for children up to 18. A regular eye exam can be the difference between success and failure for a child, and can even help explain learning difficulties. For example, 60 per cent of learning disabilities are thought to stem from undiagnosed eye problems, and 60 per cent of children with reading difficulties may have an undiagnosed vision problem.
Licensed optometrists are available to provide eye exams at select Loblaw banner stores across the country.