As soon as we stepped inside of the Atlantic Superstore’s Optical Department, Chelsea had her specs picked out. Now, we just needed to find out if she needed them… my guess was no, but since her Dad wore glasses from a young age, we decided it was time for an eye exam.
You’d have thought we were taking her back to Disney World when I told her we were getting eye exams, she was so excited. Kids can be so weird! We chose to go to the Atlantic Superstore’s Optical (Loblaw Optical), because of the Kids See Free promotion and it’s just a convenient location for the entire family to go for a checkup. This Kids See Free program is available for children aged 4-10 who have a prescription dated within the last 3 months and have not had a free pair in the last 365 days. For full details on this program, contact your local Loblaw Optical, and also check out the end of this post for information on the #BTSVision Twitter Party, being held tomorrow, August 23, 2016 from 2-3pm (Eastern).
Chelsea passed all of her tests with flying colours, which mostly made her happy, but she was also a bit sad she’d have to leave her cool rainbow-speckled frames behind. Me, on the other hand, at the young age of 42, may actually need some glasses… so I guess I’ll be picking out some frames in my future ‘for keepsies’… I find this much less exciting than Chelsea does.
How to identify if your child needs an eye exam:
Vision changes can occur without parents or children even noticing. Some signs to watch out for include:
- Having difficulty reading
- Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close
- Frequent eye rubbing
- Sensitivity to light or excessive tearing
- Closing one eye to read or watch TV
- Avoiding using a computer because it hurts their eyes
- Having trouble seeing the chalk board
- A sudden drop in grades
Even if your child has no symptoms or diagnosed vision problems, you should still get their eyes tested annually.
Tips to encourage your child to wear glasses:
It can be difficult (and may even seem impossible) to ensure children wear their glasses.
However, there are many things parents can do to encourage them to wear their glasses:
- Involve children in picking their glasses
- Ensure proper fit so the glasses are comfortable
- Depending on your child’s age, highlight their favourite characters who wear glasses (e.g. Minions, Harry Potter)
- Make it part of the morning routine to help form the habit
Instill ownership and responsibility in them for keeping their glasses clean and safe
- Make a point of praising them when they wear their glasses on their own, without being reminded or told to do so
Eye Health Tips for athletes
Vision changes can dramatically affect athletic success.
Eye protection is really important, especially in certain high-risk sports. Many children suffer sports-related eye injuries every year and many of these injuries are preventable. All kids should be wearing appropriate, protective eyewear when playing sports.
Regular prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses aren’t enough.
- Ensure your child has well-fitted, sport-specific protective eyewear
- Depending on the sport, consider sunglasses to protect the athlete’s eyes from UV rays, reduce glares, and even shield them from wind and rain
It’s also a good idea to pack a back-up form of vision correction as sports can be unpredictable.
Signs of eye injuries include:
- Difficulty seeing
- Double vision
- Severe eyelid swelling
- Pain when looking up and/or down
- Redness in the white part of the eye
- Pupil irregularity
In the case when an eye injury occurs, regardless of the severity, go to the emergency room or see an ophthalmologist immediately. Even minor injuries can cause significant damage and delaying medical attention can result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
Eye protection isn’t limited to athletes; even spectators need to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays when cheering on their team.
Beyond Vision Correction:
Other Illnesses & Conditions Detected by Eye Exams
While eye exams identify if your child require vision correction, exams may also detect signs of other conditions that need to be addressed. This is why experts recommend that children begin regular (yearly) eye exams at 6-months of age.
Some eye conditions (e.g. cross eyed/lazy eye) can even be corrected if treated during a child’s early years.
Examples of signs of other illnesses and conditions that may be detected by eye exams include:
- Vitamin A Deficiency
- High Blood Pressure
- Retinal Diseases
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Twitter Party Alert!
Join Canadians from coast-to-coast on Tuesday, August 23 from 2-3 PM EST (that’s 11 AM – 12 PM PST) to talk about the importance of children having their eyes checked, plus learn about the Kids See Free program which is available at optical departments at Real Canadian Superstore, Loblaws, Zehrs and Fortinos. You could also win some great prizes! To join all you need to do is:
They will be giving away over $400 in prizes including:
- 3 prizes throughout the party consisting of a $50 PC® Gift Card
- 1 grand prize at the end of the party consisting of a pair of sunglasses valued at up to $279
So mark your calendar and join in on Tuesday, August 23 from 11 AM – 12 PM EST (2 PM – 3PM PST)—no RSVP required!
Rules and regulations can be found here.