Set children up for success this school year with healthy vision
School is starting soon, and while you’re busy buying school supplies, don’t miss one of the most important items in your child’s back-to-school prep list: an eye exam.
The HealthSelect of TexasSM plan and State of Texas VisionSM plan includes an annual eye exam. Exams can help spot any eye issues early. Superior Vision is the plan administrator for State of Texas Vision through Aug. 31. EyeMed is the plan administrator starting Sept. 1. If you continue your coverage in the State of Texas Vision plan, your benefits will remain the same.
August is the perfect time to learn how to spot warning signs of vision issues in children and to schedule their annual eye exam.
Although as much as 80% of learning in the classroom is visual, less than one-fifth of preschool children have an eye exam by a professional, according to the American Optometric Association. A startling 75% of school vision screenings miss vision problems.
Your child may not recognize symptoms of vision issues like eyestrain and, may not be able to tell you if they’re struggling to see. A child’s vision changes more quickly than an adult’s, so issues can appear suddenly. This can have an impact on academic, social and athletic performance.
Look for these signs that your child may be struggling to see well:
- Constant eye rubbing
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Poor focusing
- Poor ability to follow an object with their eyes
- Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after six months of age)
- Ongoing redness or tearing
- A white pupil (the pupil at the center of the eye should be black)
School-age children may also show the following signs:
- Trouble reading the blackboard
- Difficulty reading due to confusion of similar words or reading words out of order
- Sitting too close to a screen
- Behavioral problems arising from vision difficulties, such as avoiding reading, lack of attention, short attention span for visual tasks, fatigue and acting out
Have your child’s eyes checked before the start of each school year. And, if any of the above problems begin during the school year, you may want to take them for another eye exam. You can also help by limiting their screen time. Protective eyewear (like sunglasses and sports goggles) can protect your child's eyes from sun damage or injury.
Because early detection and treatment are critical for correcting issues with vision, these steps can help set children up for success this school year.