Back-to-School Checklist

Back-to-School Checklist

This is used under CC License – By Brad Flickinger

New clothes…check!

School supplies…check!

Getting kids to bed early…check!

Eye exam…check???

As your children are getting ready for the upcoming school year it is important to include an updated annual eye exam in your checklist. An annual eye exam can help ensure your child is ready to face the school year and put them on the path to success.

The American Optometric Association’s recommendation for comprehensive pediatric exams is to have them at 6 months, 3 years, and before the age of 6, and every two years for children without risk factors. Many states require an eye exam for children starting kindergarten. See your state policy here.

A comprehensive eye exam does not just screen for visual acuity (the ability to see 20/20), but also refractive status, visual health, and ocular health. Common refractive conditions are myopia, or nearsightedness, hyperopia, or farsightedness, and astigmatism. Uncorrected refractive error can lead to amblyopia or lazy eye, where the ability to process visual information is limited. Vision problems such as strabismus, or eye turns, can arise from difficulties in eye movements, uncorrected refractive conditions, unequal refractive error (anisometropia) or diseases.

During a comprehensive eye exam an eye doctor can evaluate for eye diseases. This evaluation of ocular health is important for all children, but especially high risk cases. Children with high risk include those with a family history of eye disease, premature or difficult birth, maternal infections, strabismus, anisometropia, and developmental delay.

So, do the right thing and add that eye exam to your children’s back-to-school checklist.

By John G. Barrón, O.D.
California Optometric Association
http://www.coavision.org
http://www.eyehelp.org

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