Natasha is responsible for small, mid-market and large group business, as well as inside sales and account management
Kid-sized vision benefits are the right answer this school year
If you watch TV, shop or read news at all, you already know it's back to school season. Given the link between eyesight and learning (80% of all learning is visual1), we think it should also be known as vision care season.
Between books, supplies, clothes, schedules, lunches, checkups, sports and fresh haircuts, eye exams aren't necessarily top of mind. But good vision might matter more to school success than anything else on parents' to-do lists. Vision problems can put students at a disadvantage right from the start and all year long.
Some conditions are more common in children than in adults. Armed with a little knowledge, you can help us to help parents, caregivers and teachers to see what good vision means for kids, how to spot problems, and know what eye care is needed. Most importantly, you can make sure families get the vision benefits they need for preventive routine eye exams and eyewear.
So in the back-to-school spirit, we've created a quiz to help you learn and also share with employees.
The ultimate eye exam for parents, caregivers and teachers
1. How much of a child’s learning happens through the eyes?1
80%: (Good job--you were paying attention at the beginning of this story!) Learning well means seeing well. A comprehensive eye exam can help spot vision problems before they become school problems.
2. (True or False) You can wait for symptoms to pop up before taking your child to the eye doctor.
False: Don’t wait for your kids to tell you they have trouble seeing. They often don’t know what normal vision is and find ways to quietly compensate as their vision quickly changes.
3. What symptoms should you watch kids for?2
- Eye rubbing
- Head tilting
- Reading with a finger
- Avoiding reading
- Tired eyes
- Poor grades
- Short attention span
- All of the above
All of the above: Different vision problems can manifest in different ways; some can be subtle, so be on the lookout. To see what else your child may silently be telling you, visit this interactive tool at eyesiteonwellness.com/kids-beyond-behavior/ .
4. ___ % of school age kids have vision problems.3
25%: Poor eyesight can affect learning and even behavior and social interaction. And if vision problems aren’t corrected early on, problems may become permanent.
5. 21% of preschool kids have:4
- crossed eyes
- a lazy eye
Farsightedness: If your child can see far away (in class), but struggles to read for long periods of time, this may be the cause. Their vision can’t be corrected without the help of eyeglasses.
6. (True or False) A comprehensive eye exam should be part of every back-to-school routine.
True: If you got this wrong, don’t worry; 60% of parents don’t realize that eye exams are just as important as medical exams.5
7. (True or False) A school vision screening is as good as an eye exam.
False: School vision screenings are good for catching basic issues, but they’re not always enough. They can be helpful and often catch signs of issues, but follow-up with a comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor is unfortunately often missed. A comprehensive eye exam will look at overall eye health, how the eyes work together, whether they focus correctly, depth perception, color perception and peripheral vision. It could even catch signs of other serious health issues.
8. How often should your child get a comprehensive eye exam?
- Every year
- Every other year
- Every 5 years
- Once in grade school, once in high school
Every year: Kids’ vision changes constantly and quickly – much faster than adults. To see how their needs change with time, visit www.eyesiteonwellness.com/keep-up-with-your-childs-eye-exams/.
9. How many preschool-age children have NOT had a comprehensive eye exam?6
50%: That’s a lot. EyeMed’s KidsEyes (benefit rider) can help you make sure it happens. In fact, KidsEyes covers 2 eye exams each year, so changing vision problems can be detected and treated.
10. If your child needs glasses, we recommend asking for _______ lenses.
Polycarbonate: They’re 10 times more impact resistant than standard plastic lenses. While you’re at it, a UV protective coating isn’t a bad idea too, to help protect from the sun’s damaging rays.
Well, how’d you do?
Whether you scored 100% or…not quite as much...the lesson is simple: great vision isn’t just for grown-ups. Basic in-school vision screenings are a good start, AND it’s important to also schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your whole family to make sure it’s a great new school year.
Bonus question for employers and brokers
Q: What can vision benefits do to address children’s unique vision needs?
A: Ask about the EyeMed KidsEyes benefit enhancement. It includes big benefits tailored for growing youngsters, and you can add it to your EyeMed vision benefits plan. The program pays for 2 eye exams each year, with discounts and coverage for eyewear replacements, sport-related eyewear and kid-friendly lenses. To study up on KidsEyes just in time for school, here’s more info.
And clear vision is personal
As a final note, I want to share how proud I am to volunteer with OneSight each fall as local children go back to school. OneSight volunteers, including many EyeMed employees, help perform about 30,000 vision screenings each year in the metro area surrounding our Ohio headquarters. When the students are identified with possible vision issues, OneSight assists with the next steps--free, comprehensive eye exams and eyeglasses, if needed. That follow up is an extremely important part of the OneSight school screenings—and I’m happy to know so many kids have had more productive, successful school years because of it.
1 “School-aged Vision: 6 to 18 Years of Age”, American Optometric Association website.
2 “Kids’ Vision Problems”, ThinkAboutYourEyes.com industry awareness campaign. http://thinkaboutyoureyes.com/articles/kids-vision/kids-vision
3 “Children’s Vision Screening,” Prevent Blindness America. http://www.preventblindness.org/childrens-vision-screening
4 Study estimates prevalence of vision disorders among preschool children, National Institutes of Health.
5 ThinkAboutYourEyes.com industry awareness campaign http://thinkaboutyoureyes.com (home page )
6 Think About Your Eyes, http://www.thinkaboutyoureyes.com/kids-vision/kids-vision.
CATEGORY: Health & Wellness
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