We like to think of "back-to-school" as more of a yearly window for scheduling eye exams. Ideally, it's best to be done before the school year begins, but in the crunch of getting cloths, books, supplies and everything else before that first day, be assured you can still schedule your back-to-school eye exams within the first month of the school year.
A key reason not to put off a back-to-school eye exam is to recognize and address any vision problems early on, before they lead to learning problems and getting behind in school. This is especially critical for children up to twelve years old who accomplish 80% of all their learning through sight.
Here are a few warning signs of vision problems in children
- Loses their place while reading
- Avoids close work
- Holds reading material closer than normal
- Tends to rub his or her eyes
- Has headaches
- Turns or tilts head to use one eye only
- Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
- Uses finger to maintain place when reading
- Omits or confuses small words when reading
- Consistently performs below potential
Some children who experience vision problems may not realize the way they see is not normal. They may not even notice that their vision is changing. In their early years a child's vision can change quickly over months so an annual eye exam is crucial to catch potential problems before they create learning challenges in school.
An unfortunate off-shoot to a learning problem is a behavior problem. This type of behavioural problem can be relatively easy to identify and correct. When young children can't understand why they are unable to see well it becomes very frustrating, which often is expressed in ways that disrupt the class.