When it comes to pediatric care, eye care for kids is sometimes an area that is overlooked. Many parents don’t seek eye exams for their children until either the child reports having difficulty seeing at school, or the child’s grades begin to slip and parents take a closer look at why their child isn’t developing academically.
Experts recommend that children receive several eye exams before starting school. Children should have an eye exam around age three, and again when they reach age five or six. Before reaching first grade, parents are strongly encouraged to have their children receive a full eye exam to make sure the child doesn’t have visual problems that can affect their education.
Vision problems can negatively affect a child’s performance in school long before you are aware of the issue. A child with poor vision may have difficulty with seeing text and comprehending words causing difficulty in reading. The American Optometric Association reports that 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-age children are diagnosed with vision problems once they receive proper eye care. Children risk not being able to fully participate in various activities if they are experiencing undiagnosed visual impairments. An early eye exam and regular eye care for children can alleviate this potential problem.
Other symptoms of learning-related vision problems include headaches or eyestrain, short attention span for visual tasks, difficulty identifying or reproducing shapes, poor hand-eye coordination, and developmental delay. Talk to your family eye care professional about scheduling eye care visits for your children. They will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your child’s eye health, and let you know when is a good time to start doing regular check-ups.