Off to school
It is an exciting time when a child heads off to school for the first time. Like thousands of other children, our youngest girl Hanna is commencing school this year and in a couple of weeks my wife and I will be walking her to school where she will meet her new Prep teacher and all her classmates. No doubt there will be some tears from our little girl as she ventures out into the great unknown, however there will also be great excitement as she starts out on this new chapter of her life.
Optometry Australia recommends that children have a full eye examination with an optometrist before starting school and regularly as they progress through primary and secondary school. Many times over the years, we have had a child present to our practice – in many cases, well into their school life – with an undiagnosed vision problem that has greatly impacted on their learning and subsequently their progress at school. Needless to say, if this problem had been detected and managed earlier, the child’s performance at school would have been significantly improved.
Good vision is important for a child’s educational, physical and social development. Optometry Australia advises that approximately 1 in 5 Australian children either suffer from an undetected vision problem or require ongoing assessment, so it is important to be aware of the possible signs of a vision problem to give every child the best chance of reaching their full potential. It should also be stressed that a child’s vision problem may be not obvious to the parents, so even if a child is asymptomatic it is essential that they be reviewed by an optometrist on a regular basis during their time at school.