Add Seeing to Reading and Writing

Group says children should have eye exam before start of school

SATURDAY, Aug. 3, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- When you send your children back to school this fall, you're likely to get them new clothes and school supplies, but what about an eye exam?

More than 10 million American children will start the school year with an undetected vision problem, says the Vision Council of America (VCA).

The association says 80 percent of a child's learning is done visually. Research shows that 70 percent of the 2 million school-age children in the United States with reading difficulties suffer some type of visual impairment. These include ocular motor, perceptual or binocular dysfunction, says the VCA, a nonprofit optical trade association.

A recent VCA survey found that 6 percent of parents recognize that vision problems can cause learning difficulties and less than half of the parents took their child for a comprehensive eye exam within the past year.

Here are 10 signs that may indicate your child has a vision problem:

  • Squinting, closing or covering one eye.
  • Holding a book close to the face.
  • Losing their place while reading.
  • Headache, nausea, or dizziness.
  • Excessive clumsiness.
  • Tilting head to one side.
  • Frequent daydreaming.
  • Using a finger as a place mark while reading.
  • Performing below potential.
  • Rubbing eyes repeatedly.

More information

The VCA offers a free brochure and self-test to help you determine if anyone in your family may require an eye exam. You can get more information at the VCA Web site.

SOURCE: Vision Council of America, news release, July 2002
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