If you are a parent of school-aged children, then you know how quickly the summer break can go by and so even though it’s July, you may already be preparing for the busy back-to-school season. Shopping for back-to-school supplies is important, but a back-to-school pediatric eye exam is a crucial part of ensuring your kids are set up for academic success this year.
Did you know up to 80% of learning is visual? Much of the information presented in the classroom is presented visually, and unfortunately, 1 in 4 school-aged children have a vision disorder. 
Even if your child has passed a vision screening at a pediatrician’s office, it’s important to remember that the vision screening only assesses if they can see letters 20 feet away and does not screen for all the vision skills and abilities needed for learning.
Signs of a Vision Problem in Children
Children may not be able to tell you if they have a vision problem, so please be aware of the common symptoms and behaviors they may exhibit which indicate the presence of a vision problem.
- Frequent headaches
- Frequently rubbing their eyes
- Sitting too close to the television
- Squinting or straining to see
- Poor attention span
- Closing one eye while reading or watching television
- Poor eye-hand coordination
- Skipping or losing their place while reading
- Difficulty remembering what was read
Vision Skills Needed for School
Even if your child has 20/20 vision, that doesn’t mean they have all the vision skills and abilities needed to perform their very best in school. Children’s vision can also change frequently as they grow so they should have a pediatric eye exam on an annual basis or more if recommended by their doctor.
Children should have good visual acuity, which means they can see clearly in the distance and up close. They should also be able to maintain good vision when they quickly shift focus between their desk or book and the blackboard. Their eyes need to work well as a team, and they also need good eye tracking skills to follow lines of printed text while reading.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the most common vision problems in school-age children is blurry vision or refractive error caused by nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism resulting in blurry vision, but even children who can see 20/20 may have eye focusing, eye teaming, or eye tracking problems.
Back-to-School Eye Exam
Make sure your child is set up for success this year and schedule a pediatric eye exam at Decatur Family Eye Care. Vision screenings are no substitute for the comprehensive eye health and vision assessments provided by Dr. Jonathan Davis, O.D. He will take the time to get to know you and your family, diagnose vision problems your child may be having, and provide the right treatment plan based on your child’s visual needs.