This week we booked into our local IRIS location to have the kids’ eyes checked. When we booked an appointment last year we learned that it’s recommended for school-aged kids to come in every year for a check. Babies should have their eyes checked when they’re around six months old, and then regular annual checkups should start at age three for kids who have typical vision. I’ve put together a few reasons why it’s important to get your kid’s vision checked before heading back to school.
This post is sponsored by IRIS.
All you need is your child’s care card number and you can easily book their appointment. What better time than when they need to start sitting down and focusing? Below, we’ve put together five reasons why you should book your child an eye appointment for back-to-school.
Five Reasons Why it’s Important to Get Your Kid’s Vision Checked Before Back to School
- Kids don’t always know that they have vision problems. If their eyesight has been slowly getting worse, then they’re just used to the blurriness. The only way to know for sure if their vision is 20/20 is to see an eye doctor.
- Eye health is related to overall-body health. An important part of being a mom is making sure your kids are healthy — they have to eat well, sleep well, and exercise. Seeing a family doctor for regular well-checks is a part of almost every family’s routine, but only 1 in 3 kids sees an optometrist regularly, even though our eyes are necessary for almost everything we do.
- Kids grow quickly, and so do their eyes. Even if they had perfect vision two years ago, their eyes might have changed enough to need glasses now. The average age of children being diagnosed with myopia (nearsightedness) is getting younger and younger.
- Peace of Mind. Sometimes it just feels better to know. For me it gives peace of mind knowing that the kids are starting the school year off with no vision difficulties, I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t take them in routinely and find out that they did in fact have a vision problem.
- It’s FREE. When you pay your MSP (which we all should be doing) eye testing for kids already covered! Literally, no excuses not to go.
Of course, making sure kids have annual optometry visits is important, but here are a few tips to keep your kids’ eyes healthy during the rest of the year:
- Limit screen time. The main reason so many children are getting myopia at young ages is, you guessed it: screen time. The blue light isn’t good for our eyes, and computers are becoming a regular part of school, especially as the world becomes more technological. Since it can’t be avoided, make sure your kids take breaks from screens often and aren’t sitting too close. While at our appointment the optometrist mentioned that screen time should be limited to an hour a day.
- Wear sunglasses. UV rays don’t just damage our skin; they damage our eyes, too! Kids, especially, have eyes that are sensitive to the sun, so remind them to always wear their sunglasses when it’s sunny.
- Play outside. If you’re focusing on things that are far away, you’re less likely to get myopia. If you already have myopia, playing outside will prevent it from progressing as quickly.
As you know, we love our local IRIS here in Abbotsford; however, if you aren’t local to me, IRIS had many locations across Canada. Click here to head to their website to see if there an IRIS near you.