It's the cold truth of parenthood: kids are exhausting. But no matter how much we complain about how destructive our kids are (seriously - what are they doing to their lunchboxes? They come home looking like they were used in WWII combat exercises) or our complaining about the endless "eat you %^&* vegetables!" fight, the truth is, we do everything we can for them because we love them and we know they need us.
Sometimes, it means enforcing tooth brushing or saying "no" to cut off jean shorts that look like props from a Dukes of Hazard movie. Sometimes it comes in the form of keeping our kids healthy. Back to school time here means the full gamut of “check ups” – including our annual eye exam with a Doctor of Optometry.
From experience, I will tell you, nothing says “maybe this kid needs glasses” like watching your nine year-old star soccer player chase a small white dog down a soccer pitch, kicking-foot ready for action. The pet owner’s screams of “MY FLUFFY IS NOT A BALL!” were thankfully received and we were soon off to the optometrist. No one was surprised when we left the office that day with a brand new prescription for lenses and a funky pair of frames.
My daughter could now see, I was happy her eye health was being taken care of by a professional, and dog owners all over town could breathe easy.
Kids often don’t recognize that their vision is suffering because they assume everyone sees the way they do. Watch a kid when they put their first pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses – they are literally discovering a whole new world! Reading, running, watching, and playing are all improved because they can now see!
After the near-catastrophe on the soccer field, we now book eye exams each year before school starts. While some schools do offer vision screening, they are limited procedures and can't offer the full assurance of vision and eye health that a comprehensive eye exam can. That's why we make sure to see our optometrist to get the year off to the right start.
We’re almost eight years into my daughter needing a prescription and she’s had many changes in her vision.
Yearly visits are also a good idea for school kids who don’t wear glasses, because just as kids grow out of pants and throw aside beloved toys seemingly overnight, their vision can change too. Almost 80% of learning is visual and I’m all for removing preventable roadblocks wherever I can.
I (and my daughter!) were thrilled when our Doctor of Optometry said she was cleared to use contact lenses for sports and her fancy dress occasions when she didn’t want to wear frames. The qualified staff at the doctor's office even showed her how to properly care for her contact lenses, which is appreciated because, coming from me, that information gets interpreted as sad tuba sounds.
Don’t put the neighbourhood pets in danger – watch this video for more on how an eye exam can help your child and add "Eye Exam" to your back to school list - there's room on the list right under "buy shoes," and "pick up another &*%$ lunchbox."
Did you know 75% of vision loss is preventable? It’s time to open your eyes to maintaining healthy vision.
Take a few minutes to scan these articles that will teach you everything you need to know about eye health.