I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central for the American Optometric Association. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
Back to school is right around the corner! Are you ready? Do you have the kid’s new school clothes? Have you shopped for the back to school supplies? Have they had their physicals and if applicable/required vaccines? Have they had their yearly eye exam?
Did you know many parents don’t think about doing a yearly eye exam as part of back to school? But it is just as crucial as a health physical or the back to school clothes! We as parents all want our kids to excel in school right? But they can’t do that if they can’t see clearly.
I remember struggling in elementary school because I couldn’t see clearly and needed glasses. But my parents had no idea because I didn’t have yearly exams. After struggling for a while; I was put in the dreaded “front row seat” in the classroom. You know that special desk for kids who NEED glasses but don’t have glasses. No kid ever wanted that seat. But there I was!
Thankfully my teachers did talk to my parents. It wasn’t that they were neglectful. It’s just that they simply didn’t know. They had nine kids; all of whom had glasses. They were just waiting for me to show the signs that I needed them before they began the exams.
Why yearly eye exam is crucial
Did you know that yearly eye exams are even more crucial now than when you were a kid? It’s true! Think about how much time you and your kids spend on electronics with screens. The video games, TV, laptops, phones, iPads, iPods, handheld games, etc. An AOA survey reports that 83 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 estimate they use an electronic device for three or more hours each day!
Surveys show that 80% of children experience burning, itchy or tired eyes after using electronic devices for long periods of Time. Goodness! I’ll admit that I experience those sames symptoms after a day at work!
These are all symptoms of digital eye strain, a temporary vision condition caused by prolonged use of technology. Additional symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.
Optometrists are concerned with the lasting effects this increase in technology has on our eyes with the – high-energy, short-wavelength blue light.
Tips for eye health with electronics
- Check the height of the device- Computer screens should be four to five inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes. Digital devices should be held a safe distance away from eyes and slightly below eye level.
- Check for glare on the screen
- Reducing the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen
- Adjust font size for easier reading
- Keep blinking.
Ensure yearly eye exam at part of back to school!
With my own kids; I’m not waiting to see the signs. I’m proactive. I don’t want them to struggle in class for a single day simply because they can’t see the board. Our kids each get a early exam. For our boys I started when they entered Kindergarten. For our daughter, it started last year. I figured since I was taking the boys in, she might as well be checked too! We do all the kids at the same time.
For the first few years I was lucky because the boys didn’t need glasses at all.
But now; both boys need glasses. And I’m glad we were able to catch it early enough that it didn’t interfere with school at all. And even though Miss Jade doesn’t need glasses, she still gets her yearly eye exam to make sure her eyes are still healthy!
So every year; part of the back to school routine is to make sure each child has a current eye exam and are really ready to begin the new year with fresh eyes!