In 1995, president Bill Clinton named August “National Children’s Vision and Learning Month” to draw attention to the link between vision and learning. This year, we celebrate the 20th anniversary by spreading the word to yet more parents and educators that vision problems, left undiagnosed, can lead to significant learning problems that could easily be prevented.
Why Vision Problems Are Such a Big Issue
Many parents rely on vision screening offered through schools, believing that these are sufficient to detect any eye-related problems. In fact, there are numerous conditions that can affect the eyes other than visual acuity — sight involves 20 separate visual abilities, explains the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, and around one-quarter of school-age children suffer from a problem serious enough to impact their learning.
If a child’s performance at school is poor, parents and teachers often believe the child must be lazy or have a learning disability, such as dyslexia, ADHD, or ADD. Symptoms are similar and, to make matters worse, kids frequently say nothing to their parents about their difficulty seeing simply because they are unaware that their visual abilities are different from anyone else. Therefore, without a comprehensive eye exam, it is impossible to rule out vision-based learning problems.
What Can Parents Do?
Other than ensuring your kids receive regular comprehensive eye tests to check all aspect of eye health and vision, you can inform other parents of the problem and encourage them to have their kids’ eyes checked. Early diagnosis and treatment is key to ensuring children rise to their full academic potential, preventing the development of a learning disability, and even reducing the risk of permanent visual impairment.
You should also take further measures to keep your kids’ eyes safe from UV damage and injuries when outdoors by purchasing protective glasses. Examples of such include Bolt and Bolt Polarized and Breeze and Breeze Polarized for Kids aged 4+ and Youths aged 7+ or Shine and Fly for Tweens aged 10+.
Check out the Real Kids collection for more children and youth sunglasses to find a pair for your child.