TOMS RIVER – New school year, new backpack, new clothes…new glasses? Ocean County Health Department officials are reminding parents to keep an eye on their children’s eye heath as we begin another school year.
According to the Ocean County Health Department, over one in four students in the US suffer from undiagnosed vision problems.
Vison problems in schools can affect academic performance when a child can’t properly see the blackboard, computer screen or book they’re reading. Studies show that approximately 80 percent of what a child learns in school is information through visual presentation, so healthy vision is imperative when it comes to concentration and engaging in lessons.
“The Ocean County Health Department (OCHD) wants to remind parents about the importance of children’s eye health as we start to gear up for another school year,” said Ocean County Freeholder Gerry P. Little, liaison to the Ocean County Board of Health. “Early detection of vision problems can make all the difference for a child in the classroom.”
Good news is that it is now state law mandates young students 6 and under, entering public schools or Head Start Programs, must receive a comprehensive eye exam. A comprehensive exam can provide a more definitive assessment and appropriate treatment so children can start their learning journey with adequate vision skills.
According to the American Optometric Association, a child’s vision can change frequently during the course of the school year. Parents should keep an eye out for the following symptoms:
- Headaches from eye strain
- Short attention span
- Excessive blinking or eye rubbing
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Difficulty remembering what was read
- Covering one eye
- Holding materials close to the face.
“The goal is to educate parents about the critical relationship between vision and learning,” said Daniel Regenye, OCHD Public Health Coordinator. “Students should not have to struggle getting through their studies due to a lack of undetected vision issues. As parents we look for so many health concerns but we can’t forget how important eye sight is to their academic success.”
For more information or questions, visit the Ocean County Health Department website at ochd.org.