This is my last back-to-school post for the year, but I feel very strongly about providing children with good vision. A vision screening performed in the pediatrician’s hallway or the vision test done at school are no substitute for a comprehensive eye examination.
My focus today is the use of technology: phones, games, computers and tablets. Summer vacation probably wasn’t much of a break from electronic devices for most children. The integration of technology into the classroom is more reason for children to have an eye examination.
- Kids are digitally connected longer than parents think. According to a survey done by the American Optometric Association (AOA), 83%of children report using an electronic device more than 3 hours daily while only 40% of of parents think their kids exceed that mark; furthermore, 42% of kids report 5 hours of use or more.
- All that time can cause eye problems. 80% of children report their eyes have burned, itched, felt tired or had blurry vision after using an electronic device.
- Kids aren’t taking appropriate breaks. Students should follow the 20-20-20 rule. This simple rule advises that after 20 minutes of computer, tablet or other device work, the user take 20 seconds to look in the distance at least 20 feet away.
- Most learning happens visually. An estimated 80% of all classroom learning happens through visual pathways – nearly all tasks a child performs depend on good vision.
- Get children eye exams early. I recommend a child’s first eye exam happen at 6-12 months of age.
Get your kids off to a good start this school year. Schedule a back-to-school eye examination.