Did you know that up to 80 per cent of early learning is visual? Poor vision can significantly affect a child’s ability to perform in school and develop to their full potential. A recent survey, however, showed that only 14 per cent of children under the age of six have had an eye exam.
Vision loss can happen to anyone at any age. Complicating the issue is the fact that most children are unable to identify a problem with their eyesight because they assume that everyone sees the world the way they do.
For this reason, Doctors of Optometry recommend that children have their first eye exam between the ages of six and nine months, again at three years, prior to entering kindergarten, and yearly after that. A complete exam determines how well your child can see, and can also detect serious eye diseases that could lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated.
Good vision is vital to developing skills such as reading, copying and hand-eye coordination. Often, children with poor vision find it difficult to focus on their work and may be misdiagnosed as having a learning disability or behavioural issue.
Vision tests are tailored for young children and use things like pictures and symbols that children can name, match or point to. And in most provinces, the cost of eye exams for children is covered until 19 years of age.
May is Vision Health Month! To make sure you’re doing everything to protect your child’s vision health, fill out our Healthy Vision Checklist.