Did you know that nearly 80 percent of the learning a child does occurs through their eyes? That is why vision problems during school years may have detrimental effect on a child’s learning abilities, their participation is sports and everyday quality of life. Being aware of the most important facts about eyesight and age will let you help your child develop and preserve their eyesight.
Eyesight and age are related: a kid’s vision develop as they grow up and engage in different activities. However, school activities imply higher demand on a child’s visual system and require vision abilities a child may have not properly developed yet. The most important visual skills for school children are:
• Visual acuity.
• Visual fixation.
• Eye tracking.
• Eye-hand coordination.
• Visual perception.
Children between 6 and 18 years of age are exposed to a risk of various eyesight disorders –nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, lazy eye, strabismus, that may affect these vision skills. Unfortunately, any of these may go unnoticed and lead to further vision complications and learning difficulties. Moreover, children and young teenagers often don’t have specific eyesight complains or will not voice a vision problem they might have been experiencing.
The good news is that parents can detect a potential vision problem by looking out for the following signs:
• Your child sits too close to the TV or holds reading materials too close to their face.
• Your child squints, blinks or rubs their eyes frequently.
• Your child covers or closes one eye when involved in visually intense tasks.
• Your child tilts their head when watching TV, reading or writing.
• Your child has headaches often.
• Your child looses place, omits or confuses small words, uses a finger to maintain place or makes frequent reversals when reading or writing.
• Your child avoids reading and writing or has short attention span during school activities.
Any of the above may signify a vision problem and requires timely medical attention and treatment. Parents can help their child develop their vision skills with the help of various eye activities for kids, eye tracking exercises and games. Furthermore, there are many eye exercises and relaxation techniques that are perfect for reducing eye strain and thus minimizing the risk of refractive errors.