KIDS SEE: SUCCESS
Academic performance and children’s vision are inextricably linked. Experts cite that up to 80% of all learning occurs visually, leaving kids with poor vision at a major disadvantage. In 2016, the Vision Impact Institute, in partnership with Optometry Giving Sight and other organizations, created Kids See: Success, an initiative designed to advocate for eye exams for children before they enter kindergarten. Today, we are working in several states to ensure good policies for the future of children’s vision. To get in contact with us, reach out to Judith Williams from the Vision Impact Institute.
How Teachers Play a Role in Observing Poor Vision at School
Teachers often play a vital role in the vision health of their students. While 80% of a child’s learning happens through his or her eyes, more than 12.1 million school-age children in the U.S. have some form of vision problem.
Poor vision in the classroom can lead to poor academic performance, lack of self-esteem, decreased socialization, and other outcomes.
Together, we can give vision a voice for children around the world. View additional stories from parents and teachers.
- 1. Back-to-school must include a renewed focus on vision. Even though school may look a little different this year, we must encourage legislators and parents to prioritize children’s vision and continue to work on the gains that have been made.
- 2. Optometry Giving Sight (OGS) recently made a generous financial commitment to the Vision Impact Institute to further the work of Kids See: Success. The continued support of OGS will allow for the expansion of the initiative to new states to ensure that more children will have access to the good vision they need to start their education on a foundation that leads to future success.
- 3. NJ Senate Introduces Children Eye Exam bill. Senators Ruiz and Turner re-introduced the children’s comprehensive eye exam bill. S1032 was introduced in the 219th Legislature and referred to the Senate Education Committee for discussion.
- 4. Recognizing the importance of eye exams, Pete Ricketts, Governor of Nebraska, signed a proclamation on February 6, making 2020 “The Year of the Eye Exam.” Nebraska currently already has vision legislation in place within the state. Learn more about the American Optometric Association’s initiative here.
- 5. Children Eye Health Examination Bill introduced in Pennsylvania House of Representatives. HB 2118 sponsored by Rep. David H, Zimmerman and more than 30 bi-partisan co-sponsors was introduced December 10 and referred to the Committee on Education. The Bill proposes to amend the School Code to ensure school-age children receive an eye health examination upon admission to school in 4th, 8th grade and prior to students entering special education programs.
How Parents Play a Role in Observing Poor Vision at Home
Parents play an immensely critical role in the vision health of their children. Parents must be vigilant about noticing signs of vision problems at home and be proactive about communicating those signs with their children’s teachers.
With home schooling the new norm, children are spending more and more time on digital devices and, in some cases, less time moving. This combination can be challenging on their eye and bodies. As part of an ongoing collaboration with The Cooper Institute, we’ve teamed up to bring parents a few easy tips to incorporate into a child’s day to keep them healthy and successful in the classroom and on the field, both now and in the future.
What Parents Need to Know
When parents suspect that their child can’t see well it’s important to have their eyes checked by an optometrist or ophthalmologist who can perform a comprehensive eye exam.
Read more here to learn why children’s eye exams are important, when to have your child’s eyes examined, how to schedule eye exams for your child and more.
Children’s Vision Exam Policies in the United States
- States with Comprehensive Eye Exams Policies for Children
- States Proposing Children’s Vision Policies for Eye Exam Legislations or with mandates/recommendations for eye exams after failed vision screenings
Because good vision is an essential part of a child’s learning, it is important for children to have a comprehensive eye exam to detect possible vision problems early and provide adequate treatment. While many states have vision screenings programs, research shows that these vision screenings are not enough to diagnose all vision problems and eye health issues. Many states do strongly encourage parents to ensure their children receive a full eye exam before they enter school for the first time.