According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, nearly 25% of school-aged children have vision problems—often without their parents realizing it. According to Health Canada, over 80% of all learning during a child’s first 12 years is visual. Studies show a direct link between poor grades in school and uncorrected vision issues.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children as young as six months have an eye exam at least once a year to ensure their eyes are healthy and developing normally.
Children with existing vision problems or risk factors should have their eyes examined more frequently. Common risk factors for vision problems include:
. premature birth
. developmental delays
. turned or crossed eyes
. family history of eye disease
. history of eye injury
. other physical illness or disease
Common Warning Signs
- Do they consistently turn their head to one side?
- Do they consistently turn their head to one side when picking something up?
- Do they seem startled if you approach from one side vs. the other?
- Do they seem to consistently miss seeing something of interest?
- Were there any complications during or immediately after birth?
- Do their pupils look the same?
- Do they have a family history of a lazy eye?
- Do they sit close to the TV because they say they cannot see it?
- Do they complain of headaches?
- Do they tilt their head to one shoulder or to one side consistently when watching TV or reading?
- Do they have a shorter attention span than usual when doing near tasks?
- Were they slower than expected in hitting their milestones?
School Age Children:
- Do they have attention issues?
- Do they say they have headaches?
- Do they complain of double vision or blurred vision at distance or near?
- Do they have trouble seeing the board?
- Have their reading comprehension scores started to drop?
- Do they lose their place on the page or use their fingers to keep track of where they are on the page (after 2nd grade)?