Vision is one of the most important tools for the child to function normally and be on par with children of their at home and otherwise. If a child is not able to see clearly then the performance will be naturally affected. Studies have proved that ability to see clearly with eyes without trouble is the key element of learning process of children up to the age of twelve. The main vision skills required at school are
- Near vision: Ability to view image that is relatively close (at a distance of 10 to 13 inches).
- Distance Vision: Ability to view image that is relatively far (at a distance of 36 inches /beyond arms length).
- Binocular coordination: Coordination of both eyes.
- Eye movement skills: The eyes should be able to aim accurately at an object, move away smoothly, quickly and comfortably and look at another object.
- Focusing skills: Ability to change focus from one object to another with change in length.
- Peripheral awareness: The awareness that there are images on the sides while looking straight ahead.
- Eye/hand coordination: The hands and eye should be able to move together at the same time.
If kids face any of the problems then the performance is most likely to be affected. The child will have to work harder and would develop headaches, fatigue and eye strain problems.
Here is a list of symptoms to help the parents recognize that the child is facing vision related problems.
Symptoms of eye problems in children
- Inability to complete writing assignment in time
- Inability to read continuously and having to repeat what is already to continue further
- Losing attention while doing work which involves viewing at close quarters
- Skipping words while reading
- Copying down notes from the classroom board with lots of mistakes
- Holding the books to close to the eyes while reading
- Rubbing eyes frequently
- Performing below the potential
If any of the above symptoms are noticed, it’s advisable for the parents to take the child to the Optometrist at the earliest so that it could be corrected. Delay would only compound issues and not make them any better.
Although all schools have eye examinations throughout the year, it’s important for the parents to all get their kid’s eyes checked up from when they are 6 months old. The American Optometric Association (AOA) suggests the child’s eyes should be checked first at 6 months, then at the age of 3 and 5. This should be followed by a check up once in every 2 years.