[twitter]Backpacks. New shoes. Eye exam.

These are the necessities of back to school season. While I’m sure you knocked off the first two, did you get your kids’ eyes checked this season? It’s easy to do, there are optometrists in most malls, so in between cool new hoodies, the best new shoes, and iPad negotiations with the kids, pop in and get it done.

20% of kids heading back to school have had their eyes checked, yet 80% of what happens in school is visual based learning. You need to have the right tools to succeed, so here’s 6 reasons to get your kid’s eyes checked for back to school:

1. Fix the problem early

Through my recent eye exams, and taking the boys to get theirs, I’ve learned that the problem I have with my eyes (amblyopia) that forces me to wear glasses, could have been fixed if caught young enough. It wasn’t until part way through Grade 1 that a teacher noticed I had eye issues. I have worn glasses ever since. If it was caught in kindergarten, things may have been different.

2. Vision is critical to learning

A group of teachers had their vision altered to mimic the sorts of problems kids might have and came away with a deeper understanding of the problems the kids in their class might be facing.

3. You don’t know what you can’t see

While many parents feel that we have a handle on our kids’ health and vision, and would do something if we knew about it, kids won’t tell you what they can’t see. Even the teachers in the above video passed a simple vision test, it was a deeper examination that discovered the problem.

Charlie gets his eyes checked

4. It’s Free

Eye exams are free for kids in most provinces (check your provincial restrictions here). Eye See Eye Learn also offers kindergarten aged children free glasses if they need it.

5. It’s Easy

This isn’t a trip to the dentist. The kids sit in a chair, look at some lights, read some letters, and that’s it. The whole process takes less than half an hour.

Zacharie gets silly

6. It’s Fun

The boys love to match wits with their eye doctor, watching and catching lights on the wall, proudly shouting out letters and numbers, and trying on all sorts of magical contraptions that make them feel like mad scientists.

1 in 6 children have some sort of vision problem. You should get your kids’ eyes checked as early as 6 months of age. We remember to change our smoke detector batteries when we change the clocks, let’s start remembering that back to school means back to the optometrist and get our kids’ eyes checked.

You can find an optometrist that is right for you here.

Thanks to the team at Edelman for making a donation to Team Diabetes Canada in exchange for this branded content.

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