If a child is having difficulty in school one of the first questions I ask parents/guardians is if they have recently had the student’s eyes check by a medical professional. Now imagine if before the student was struggling in school there was a program to help identify optical issues. This past January, Eastern Ontario welcomed Eye See…Eye Learn for junior kindergarten students.
Eye See…Eye Learn® provides comprehensive eye exams by local Doctors of Optometry to junior kindergarten students in participating school regions. The eye exams are covered under provincial health insurance (or OHIP) when you show your child’s health card. This means that there is no out-of-pocket cost for the eye exam.
If the child requires a pair of glasses, they will receive a FREE pair donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI and your participating Doctor of Optometry. The value of the glasses is estimated over $250.
The Eye See…Eye Learn® program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children’s eyes checked upon starting school. Each year thousands of children start school without ever having an eye exam.
Children, who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential. Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development. In fact, 80 percent of learning comes directly through vision.
The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO) recognizes the important link between eye health and learning, and recommends comprehensive eye examinations for all children entering kindergarten. The Eye See…Eye Learn® program will help make sure our kindergarten students get the best start to learning. This program is funded in part by the Government Ontario.
Below is a handy checklist, including appearances and symptoms, that may alert parents to potential optical issues for their child:
- One eye that looks turned in or out
- Bumps, styes, redness, swelling, or crusting of eyelids
- Haziness or whitish appearance inside the pupil
- Frequently watery eyes
- Excessive blinking or squinting
- Closing or covering an eye when looking at objects
- Losing place or using a finger to maintain place when reading
- Exhibiting a reading or learning problem
- Complaining of headaches, nausea and dizziness
- Avoiding reading, colouring, or activities up close
- Poor hand-eye coordination