Did you know that 80 percent of what your child learns in school is through their eyes? Yet, one in four students in the United States has trouble seeing because of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.  These disorders typically begin between the ages of 10 and 15, when self-consciousness skyrockets and children are less likely to speak up if they are having vision problems, especially if it means a trip to the doctor.

"Clear vision and academic potential go hand in hand. If you can’t see the board or the words in a book, how can you follow lessons or do homework well?"

Clear vision and academic potential go hand in hand. If you can’t see the board or the words in a book, how can you follow lessons or do homework well?  A child who suffers from vision problems is more likely to fall behind – academically and socially – than a child who is confident in what they see. Research shows that children who fall behind in middle school are more likely to drop out of high school. To keep your child on a positive path, be aware of what they are seeing, and what they may be missing. Get your child’s eyes checked and stay informed about their eye health.

  1. Keep an eye on your child. Do you notice your child sitting closer to the TV than usual? Or holding books, phones or tablets close to their face?Are they squinting when they go to a movie or a sports event? Other signs to look for include tilting their head to reador frequently rubbing their eyes.

    Also, with clear vision comes confidence, so if you notice that your child is not engaging with friends or participating in sports and other afterschool activities, it could mean that they are having trouble seeing.

  2. Talk to your child’s teacher. Find out if your child has been disruptive or uncomfortable participating in class, which could mean your child isn’t fully engaged and may be a sign that they cannot see clearly.

  3. Talk to the school nurse. Many schools conduct vision screenings, but research shows that only 50 percent of students who fail an eye test given at school make it to the eye doctor.Speaking with your child’s school nurse will help ensure that your child isn’t one of them.

  4. Get your child’s eyes checked regularly. The best way to know for sure whether or not your child needs eyeglasses is to bring them to a licensed optometrist and get their eyes checked.

    Even if your child already has eyeglasses, as they grow their eyes will change. An annual eye exam can assure they are using eyeglasses that will give them the best vision possible.

  5. Let your child pick out their own frames. The simple fact is, if your child doesn’t like their glasses, they won’t wear them.

No child deserves to miss out on opportunities to learn and grow because they need a pair of glasses. Make an appointment to get your child’s eyes checked today.

Helen Keller International
editorial@mediaplanet.com