Dr. Michael Kellam at Vision Arts Eyecare Centre in Ladysmith is encouraging parents to take their children in for eye exams as part of Children’s Vision Month.

Importance of eye exams highlighted

Parents are being reminded to take their children to an optometrist for an eye exam during Children’s Vision Month.

Parents are being reminded to take their children to an optometrist for an eye exam during Children’s Vision Month.

One in four school-age children has a vision problem and many of these problems have no obvious symptoms, so there is no way for parents to know if their child is the one, according to Doctors of Optometry Canada. Since children have no point of comparison, most accept their vision as normal because they don’t know any differently. As a result, many children with impaired visual skills can become withdrawn and perform below their potential in school. Some children are even misdiagnosed as having a learning disability, the association notes.

“Research tells us that most parents mistakenly believe that they would know if their child had a vision problem. But the truth is, with no easy-to-detect symptoms, it is impossible to know without an eye exam,” says Dr. Michael Kellam of Vision Arts Eyecare Centre in Ladysmith and Nanaimo.

Children’s Vision Month occurs annually in October and is dedicated to raising awareness of the impact undiagnosed vision problems can have on children’s learning and development.

Kellam, a member of the provincial association’s board of directors, wants to stress the importance of when and how often children should get comprehensive eye exams, which have the ability to test for far-sightedness, not just near-sightedness.

“For me, it’s important kids come in yearly because the eye is still growing, even as a teenager,” he said. “Just because mom and dad’s eyes are fine doesn’t mean the kid’s eyes are good because there may be other issues in the family tree.”

Kellam says they want children to get their first eye exam well before kindergarten, at age three, and if that first test is good, they want them in again when they start kindergarten and then annually while they are in school.

“Visual demand goes up each year,” he noted. “Not only is there the growth factor, but there’s the change in visual demand too.”

Kellam says any children who are struggling with reading or math in school should get their eyes checked because it could be a result of far-sightedness.

“Baseball coaches say you can’t hit it if you can’t see it, but that applies to reading too — if you can’t see it, you can’t read it,” he said.

 

Just Posted

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Man sentenced to six years for dangerous driving causing death of Ladysmith woman

Dustin Dennis Zinter had previously been found guilty after 2015 incident on Yellow Point Road

B.C. local elections: 14 key statements from the Ladysmith all candidates forum

Citizens flocked to Aggie Hall earlier this week to hear from seven… Continue reading

Ladysmith Ratepayers Association forms to bring voice to community

Meet and greet wth council candidates planned for Oct. 18 at Eagles Hall

Show skating career begins for Fuller Lake product

Robertson rehearsing in Florida for a Disney On Ice production

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Most Read