Pencils, Pens and Eye Exams
Alexandria, VA (September 10, 2007) – The kids are back at school with pens, pencils, notebooks and everything else on their classroom supply list. But in addition to all of the classroom supplies, an eye exam or vision screening can go a long way to ensure school success.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of every three children receive no preventive vision care before entering school, putting their physical and emotional development at risk. Many times students with uncorrected vision problems are misdiagnosed as having behavioral problems or learning disabilities. Considering that 80 percent of learning is visual, it’s important that children have an eye exam or vision screening at the beginning of the school year.
“Healthy vision is essential to learning,” said Jean Ramsey, MD. “An untreated vision problem can cause a child to fall behind in school and may result in permanent vision loss.”
Teachers are very aware of the effects uncorrected vision problems have on children. A survey conducted by Russell Research revealed that 93 percent of teachers polled believe poor vision impacts a student’s academic performance and 74 percent have personally observed children falling behind in school due to vision problems.
“I have witnessed students fall behind in classroom work and lose self-confidence because of vision problems,” said Danielle Heiman, third grade teacher at Crossfield Elementary School in Herndon, Va. “Children don’t always know that they have a vision problem and tend blame difficulties on not being as smart as the other children which can be detrimental when it comes to developing self-esteem and social skills.”
While there are warning signs, it is often difficult for parents and teachers to know when a child has difficulty seeing. What’s more, children themselves may not even know they have a vision problem – they assume that what they see is normal.
The Vision Council of America suggests that parents should look for these tell-tale signs of a vision problem:
- Squinting, closing or covering one eye
- Constantly holding materials close to the face
- Tilting head to one side
- Rubbing eyes repeatedly
- One or both eyes turn in or out
- Redness or tearing in eyes
“If parents notice any warning signs, they should take their child to an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam,” said Ramsey. “Being proactive is the best way to make sure your child has healthy vision and is able to fully develop to his or her potential.”
For more information on children’s vision health, visit www.checkyearly.com.