Imagine trying to solve a math problem in school, but you can’t make out if the number is a 3 or an 8 on the board. 1 in 20 preschool-aged and 1 in 4 school-aged children has a vision problem. Children who struggle to see often struggle to learn because 80% of learning is visual.
Fortunately, the majority of children’s vison problems are highly treatable especially if they are caught and treated early. Research has shown that just six weeks of vision correction can improve a child’s standardized test scores to match the scores of their peers who do not have vision problems ( Alba , 2019). The first step in correcting these vision problems begins with a certified vision screening. 2019 Preschool Ambassador Ellie McGinty’s family learned first-hand just how important a certified vision screening can be.
Ellie is a fun, outgoing preschooler. She loves her dog, cat, and brother. Ellie’s family had no idea she was struggling to see. Ellie never complained about having trouble seeing and didn’t appear to have problems with everyday activities such as coloring.
Ellie’s certified vision screening went well until it was time to screen her left eye. Ellie’s confidence faded and she became shy and quiet. She was unable to name the shapes that she was so sure of with her right eye. Ellie was taken to the eye doctor where she was diagnosed with amblyopia (lazy eye) in her left eye. Ellie was prescribed glasses and a patching regimen. She chose frames in her favorite color, purple! “Ellie loves putting on her purple glasses and matching her outfits to the color of her frames every day that she goes to school,” says her mom Colleen.
Without the free vision screening from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin community volunteers, Ellie’s vision problems may have gone undetected, untreated, and could have resulted in permanent vision loss. Ellie’s parents are very appreciative for the work done by Prevent Blindness Wisconsin saying, “We would absolutely recommend a Children’s Vision Screening to friends or family with children in a preschool or a school.”
The ABC’s of Vision Health:
As a parent, what do you look for in your child’s vision? The ABC’s:
A= Appearance: Have you noticed a change in how your child’s eyes look? Do they turn in, out, up, or down?
B=Behavior: Does your child squint to see the board or their homework? Do they rub their eyes a lot?
C=Complaints: Does your child say they have headaches or are dizzy? Does your child say they have blurry vision?
If you notice any of the ABC’s in your child, take them to the eye doctor. The only way to know the status of your child’s vision health is through a complete, dilated eye exam.
Children face many challenges on their path to success; with your help and Prevent Blindness Wisconsin’s support, poor vision doesn’t have to be one of them.
To learn more about protecting your child’s vision and how Prevent Blindness Wisconsin can help visit wisconsin.preventblindness.org. Together, we can provide a lifetime of healthy vision! We would love to hear your thoughts on this article and children’s vision health. Please click on this link to tell us your thoughts!