Good vision is essential for a child to reach their full potential
More than 80% of the information children receive about the work comes through their eyes. Vision problems can severely impact on a child’s educational, physical and social development. It is recommended that school age children have a comprehensive eye exam every 2 years throughout their schooling.
It is important for a parent to recognize the signs of vision defects as often a child is not aware that they have a problem.
The most common visual problems with children are:
- Short sightedness – problems seeing in the distance
- Long sightedness – problems seeing close up
- Astigmatism – distortion of vision
- Once these problems are recognized they are easily corrected.
- Some other problems to look for are:
- Poor hand-eye co-ordination of the eye
- Turned eye
- Difficulties maintaining focus
- A parents checklist for detecting a vision problem may be the following:
- Frequent blinking
- Red or watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyes screwed up while watching TV
- Frequently rubbing the eye
- Low concentrating
- Tilting head noticeably
- Covering or closing one eye
- Difficulty learning to read
- Holding a book very close to read
- Leaving out or confusing words when reading
- Difficulty recognising familiar people in the distance
- Complaints of headaches, blurred or double vision
- Complains of burning or itching eyes.
(Optometrists Association of Australia, A Parent’s Guide to Good Vision)