Getting a back to school eye exam is just as important as filling your child’s backpack with pencils and paper!

Without healthy vision and clear eyesight, your child's ability to learn might be affected. 1 in every 4 children has vision problems, but only 50 percent of parents with children under 12 have taken them to an eye doctor for an eye exam. A comprehensive eye exam from your optometrist is different than school vision screenings, which only test for visual acuity.

Eye tests examine visual function, refractive status, eye focusing and family eye health history. Some eye conditions can permanently affect vision if not quickly corrected, but regularly visiting your eye care center allows for earlier diagnosis and treatment. Of course, having good eye care habits helps keep some conditions from ever appearing.

Today, kids are spending more and more time on digital devices, whether it’s a smart phone, laptop or tablet. As a parent, you can encourage the 20/20/20 rule to give their eyes a break: every 20 minutes focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Additionally, having ‘screen vacations’ where the family spends a day or afternoon away from screens can also be beneficial. Sports are the cause of many eye injuries—gearing up with specialty goggles can protect your child’s eyes from unintended harm. And, of course, keeping your child’s whole body healthy will also be good for their overall vision.

So rather than stuffing down carrots, this year take your child to your local optometrist to make sure their vision is in top shape for the school year.

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