Back to School: An Ideal Time for Annual Eye Exams
Back to school means more than shopping for back to school supplies, it’s about getting back to school healthy and ready-to-learn, and that includes ensuring perfect vision and eye health!
For most families in Ontario and the rest of Canada, September means time to head back to school and all that goes with it. Don’t leave everything until the last week, as you’ll want your students hitting the ground running. Ensure your annual eye exam is booked – every eye doctor recommends it!
In order to be prepared for the renewed eye strain from book work and reading off a whiteboard across the room, September is a great time to schedule your kids yearly eye exam!
Annual eye exams are covered by OHIP!
For all kids under 19 OHIP covers one annual eye exam, so there’s really no reason not to get them checked regularly! A growing child’s eyes can change year to year so it’s a good idea to stay on top of any changes so they can get the most out of their education. It’s hard to learn when you can’t see the board clearly!
Although many professionals recommend an eye exam only every 2 years for kids with no underlying concerns, OHIP covers one yearly so you really can’t go wrong incorporating the appointment with your annual back-to-school tasks.
Fall often means an increase in digital device use
With more schools making use of digital devices in their classrooms and the overall prevalence of digital devices in our world today, the potential for eye strain can increase each year. This is especially likely in the fall when school starts back up and kids aren’t spending most of their time outside away from screens and devices.
While screens are becoming a staple in our day to day life, excessive use can lead to problems for kids. Teaching them the ’20-20-10’ rule recommended by eye doctors can help, but will not eliminate all possible concerns. The rule teaches that every 20 minutes they should look at an object 20 feet away for at least 10 seconds to give their eyes a rest.
Sports start back up in the fall
Another reason to stay on top of yearly exams is because school sports start again with the school year, and good vision is important for this extra curricular activity. Depending on which sport you child intends to play this might be a great time to talk to your optometrist about which sports eye wear is the best option for them.
Early detection of eye disorders is vital
Kids in school use their eyes for everything from reading and writing to seeing the board and using a computer. If their eyesight starts declining and it isn’t caught early, they can start to experience quite a bit of difficulty completing everyday tasks at school. If we don’t do what we can to facilitate good eyesight it can be common for a child to think their fuzzy view is normal, and not realize it needs to be corrected.
Visiting your eye doctor for a complete eye exam regularly will help monitor any anomalies and correct anything that needs correcting, before it starts hindering your child’s learning.
Put “eye exam appointment” at the top of your to-do list
With all the reasons your child needs good eyesight, be sure to put making an appointment for their yearly check up at the top of your back-to-school to-do list! As parents we need to do everything we can to give our kids access to the best learning tools we can, and having good eyesight definitely sits at the top of that list!