In-person, mixed instruction or still fully virtual – back-to-school plans for our children vary across the country. Planning for your child’s return to school this fall will undoubtedly be filled with unknowns. As parents, we can’t control everything, but one thing we can do is ensure our kids are prepared for learning in whatever form it takes. Comprehensive vision health is a part of that. These three steps will help you and your family be on the right track when school gets back in session.
Step 1. Schedule Your Child’s Annual Eye Exam
The first and perhaps most important step in protecting your child’s vision is scheduling their annual eye exam. Getting a comprehensive eye exam is fast and easy. Eyecare professionals across the country have stepped up their sanitization efforts due to COVID-19 to make sure all patients are able to get the services they need safely. Need to locate an eye doctor near you? Use our doctor locator!
Step 2. Be on the Lookout for Warning Signs that May Seem Unrelated
Not every vision problem is an obvious one and vision loss is not the only sign of an eye disease or ailment. If your child is returning to the classroom for the first time since early 2020, looking at a whiteboard from a distance or focusing on instructional material in the classroom may feel different or even difficult. There are several surprising indicators of potential vision issues, including increased clumsiness, frequent headaches, and shorter attention spans. Vision Health Alliance has compiled a list of nine symptoms to be on the lookout for here.
Step 3. Take Steps to Minimize the Impacts of Digital Eye Strain
Device usage has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic, but with a return to school that will include virtual learning for many, Digital Eye Strain is still a cause for concern. As the summer hours turn into fall, outdoor play will get more limited and schoolwork will get added to the schedule. Help your child follow the 20-20-20 rule to minimize the impacts of Digital Eye Strain. Have them take a break once every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can alleviate eye strain and work the eye muscles that are not being used while watching a digital screen. Want to learn more? Take this quiz about Digital Eye Strain for an interactive learning experience.