I’m 46 yrs old and I wear glasses because I didn’t get my eyes checked when I was younger. I have amblyopia, or a lazy eye. It wasn’t until some time towards the end of grade 1 that my condition was diagnosed (that’s my grade 2 picture above). By then, it was too late (in fact, it is recommended that kids start to get their eyes checked at 6 months). Caught early enough, amblyopia is correctable. If you wait until your child is about 6, they’ll have it for life.

So I wear glasses. And I will forever.

That’s why I think it’s important to get my kids’ eyes checked and, each year before school starts, we make our way to an optometrist and have them run some simple tests to make sure they’re all good. This year we stopped in to our local Real Canadian Superstore for the check-up.

superstore optical

DYK many Loblaw stores have opticians in the building? They do!  So we had a quick appointment and then ran and did the groceries without making a second stop.

It was easy, quick, convenient, and free. In Alberta, people under 19 and over 65 get free eye exams. That’s pretty awesome. Just make the appointment, and bring in the kids for a 15 minute check up, that’s all there is to it.

charlie up close

zacharie bw

If your child between the ages of 4 and 10 needs glasses, they can get them for free (frames up to $49 value and lenses) at Loblaw stores  like the Real Canadian Superstore) with their Kids See Free Program. Even if you didn’t get the test done at a Loblaw store, bring in the scrip (from the last 90 days) and you can get the glasses for free.

There are a lot of great styles on offer and Charlie and Zacharie had fun trying on a few pairs.

charlie glasses

with glasses

Yes, I’ve partnered with Loblaw to promote this program, but I cannot endorse it enough. As someone who wears glasses because I didn’t have early eye exams done, I will shout as loud as I can for people to get their kids’ eyes checked. Especially when it’s so convenient and free.

Here are some signs to watch out for:

– Having difficulty reading

– Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close

– Frequent eye rubbing

– Sensitivity to light or excessive tearing

– Closing one eye to read or watch TV (this was my dead giveaway as a kid)

– Avoiding using a computer because it hurts their eyes

– Having trouble seeing the chalk board

– A sudden drop in grades

Back To School Eye Exam

Even if your child has no symptoms or diagnosed vision problems, you should still get your children’s eyes tested annually. IT’S FREE!

1 in 3 Canadian parents do not plan to have their child’s eyes examined before school begins. This hurts. Kids can’t learn what they can’t see. Sometimes learning disabilities are merely children hiding the fact they can’t see the lesson. Eyeglasses can mean the difference between a child thriving at school or falling behind.

Optical Departments are conveniently located at select local Loblaw stores like the Real Canadian Superstore. The Kids See Free Program ensures children ages 4 – 10 years receive any frame valued up to $49 with kids safe polycarbonate lenses for free.

Kids See Free

The Kids See Free program is available at optical departments at Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Zehrs, Fortinos, Your Independent Grocer, Atlantic Superstore, and Dominion stores in Newfoundland.

Both Zacharie and Charlie passed their eye exams again this year. Which hopefully leads to a successful year at school and … catching Pokemon…

eyeglasses and pokemon

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Loblaw’s Kids See Free program.

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