Each year, less than 43 per cent of children entering grade one has a comprehensive eye exam. This, despite the fact that an estimated one in four has a vision problem significant enough to impair their ability to learn.
During Children’s Vision Month in October, Canadian doctors of optometry are urging parents to book eye exams for their children at their local optometrist to help ensure their children are not living with an undetected vision problem.
Why is this important?
80 per cent of learning is visual. Many parents may not be aware that undiagnosed vision problems can affect children’s learning and development, and prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The need for awareness is real. Vision problems can seriously impact children’s learning and development, yet the majority of problems have no easy-to-detect symptoms. This makes it impossible for parents to know if their child is the one.
School vision screening tests don’t make the grade. When your child starts school, they may participate in vision screening, which many parents and teachers misconstrue as a comprehensive eye exam. It is important to recognize that vision screening is a limited procedure, and cannot be used to diagnose many serious eye health or vision problems that can impact your child’s ability to perform in school.
Vision conditions can manifest in school, socially and in play. By ensuring your child has healthy visual skills, you help them to fully experience everything that life has to offer.
If you’re interested, visit your local doctor of optometry to further discuss:
- The impact that undiagnosed vision problems can have on a child’s learning and development
- What parents can do to help
- Expand on the important differences between a school vision screening and a comprehensive eye exam
- The importance of eye exams, the frequency with which children should have them, and what’s involved in getting one
– Doctors of Optometry Canada