At Bright Eyes, we do "Back To School" season every year. Lots of eye exams for kiddos, education, new glasses, etc. But, of course, this year is different. Way different. Personally, I now have a middle schooler and a high schooler for the first time. But like every other city, this year we are returning to school during a global pandemic.
Here are some important things for parent to know:
In public schools in Hillsborough County, masks are mandatory without a medical excuse. Medical reasons are limited. Even it isn't required, I highly recommend that your kids wear masks. My kids do. Because masks work, according to both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Unfortunately, masks can cause glasses to fog up. My son did his science fair project on this last year . Some hints to help include making sure the masks fit as well as possible and consider No Fog lens cloths (which we have for sale). Also masks can some people to experience dry eyes and styes, so make sure their eye hygiene is up to stuff. Seek profesional eye care if it chronic.
Beware of Myopia
Many of my young patients were enrolled in e-learning last year. This was difficult for children who had to spend hours a day at the computer. Increased screen time combined with reduced outdoor time means that kids are more likely to develop nearsightedness AKA myopia. To help, we created a visual guide for students who are e-learning to reduce eyestrain and vision problems.
For kids who have returned to the classroom, many of them are noticing that the board is hard to see clearly. For many, this is a surprise because they didn't feel like they had problems before; nearsightedness doesn't affect near vision and children who are e-learning mostly look up close.
Fortunately, for children whose myopia is increasingly rapidly, there are options to help protect vision from worsening.
Be On the Lookout for Problems
A great deal of classroom learning is visual. Proper visual development is important for academic success. If you'd like to learn more about this, I recently recorded a podcast episode with Wendy Taylor, M. Ed, from Learning Essentials.
As kids are adapting to school routines, watch them closely. Signs that may indicate a child has vision problem include:
- Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
- Avoiding reading and other close activities
- Frequent headaches, especially after near work
- Covering one eye
- Tilting the head to one side
- Holding reading materials close to the face
- An eye turning in or out
- Seeing double
- Losing place when reading
- Difficulty remembering what he or she read
We hope you have a successful and safe school year! If you have questions or concerns about your children's, a complete eye exam is important to look for significant vision problems. You can request one here, or call us at 813-792-0637.