Vision problems are common in school-aged children. Most parents believe that they would know if their child was having problems with their vision, but this is not always true. For instance, one in six children diagnosed with a learning disability actually has a correctable vision problem instead.
Eye exams for children in Ontario are covered by OHIP. This means it will not cost you anything for your child to have an eye exam. Vision screening tests are no longer routine in schools, and only an optometrist can diagnose eye problems as well as test vision.
A child doesn’t have to be able to read to get an eye exam. Infants should have their first eye exam between six and nine months of age. Children should have another eye exam before starting kindergarten, to identify any issues that may cause them problems in class, and then yearly exams after that.
A child who cannot see properly may struggle academically, and may find sports and other physical activities difficult.
Some optometrists in our area participate in the I See, I Learn program. This program provides free eyeglasses to children in junior kindergarten. If this is something that interests you, you can find out more by visiting the Ontario Association of Optometrists at www.optom.on.ca
For more information on parenting and services in Simcoe Muskoka, please contact your health care provider or contact Health Connection by calling 1-705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., by email or connect with us wherever you are on Facebook or Twitter.