how are your kid's eyes?

When I got on board with this book drive with VSP, I couldn't believe how much I learned!! I was really shocked to learn that kids should have their first eye exam at 6 months. My hubby and I both have really bad vision, so there's a good chance that our kids will too. Looks like I will be staying on top of their eye health better now! Won't my sweet girl be adorable in glasses if she does end up needing them? Even upside down it's adorable!!

I had the opportunity to interview a local VSP Optometrist, Trevor Conklin, O.D. of Vision Source OKC South. I hope this information helps you as much as it did me in promoting good eye health in your home!!

At what age should children start getting eye exams?

It is recommended that a child receive his or her first comprehensive eye exam at six months of age to one year, again at age three, and then just before starting kindergarten.  There are some conditions such as “lazy eye” that if diagnosed early are treatable.  However, if they are not treated at a young age can potentially cause life long vision impairment.  

What can be some bad effects if children aren't being checked regularly and provided with proper eye care? 

One of the most critical items for a child to have success in school is VISION.  Many conditions go undiagnosed because individuals believe an eye exam only measures how well you can see.  There are many conditions relating to the eyes that can hinder or delay a child’s school success and early detection and treatment is essential.  Vision impairments on children have a direct impact on developmental disabilities, socialization, school success and productivity as they progress into adulthood. Here are some troubling facts:

  • 1 in 4 children struggle with reading and learning because of undiagnosed vision problems (COVD).
  • According to the National PTA, close to 10 million children in the U.S suffer from undetected vision problems that may cause them to fail in school.
  • 70% of Juvenile delinquents have uncorrected vision problems
  • 60% of children labeled as “problem” learners actually suffer from undiagnosed vision problems.

What are some signs parents can watch for in their kids to know if they might need an eye exam or that they have be having vision problems?

• Squinting eyes or closing one eye

• Tilting or turning his or her head to see more clearly

• Holding things very close to read

• Any eye turn or “lazy” eye

• Not being able to see the depth of a 3D movie     

• Difficulty completing assignments 

• Headaches after or during reading

• Skipping/rereading lines of print

• Double vision, words overlapping

• Falling asleep while reading/avoidance of near work

Most children are afraid to go to the doctor, how can we help prepare our kids for their eye exams and best educate them?

An eye exam should be a fun experience for a child especially his or her first eye exam.  Let the children know it will be fun and safe.  Try not to let talk about the “doctor” or an “exam” as much as letting someone look at their eyes while enjoying a fun experience.  We are not here to take a Childs blood or give them shots, so try not to make it seem that way.  

For me as a mom and someone with horrible vision, eye health for my children is very important. What tips do you have to help me promote good eye health in my home?

Just as a mother applies sun screen to the skin they should also consider the Ultra Violet (UV) damage to the eyes.  Most of the UV damage to a child’s eyes is done before the age of 18 so it is very important to give them good UV protection at a young age.  Also children should watch his or her parent’s wear safety glasses to help instill eye protection when doing dangerous activities like lawn work.

Dr. Trevor Conklin is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Northeastern State University College of Optometry.  Dr. Conklin completed externships in ocular disease and refractive surgery. In 2006 Dr. Conklin received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Central Oklahoma.  He is a member of the American Optometric Association, theOklahoma Association of Optometric Physicians, and South Oklahoma City Rotary Club.  During his free time Trevor enjoys sports and is an avid outdoor enthusiast.

A huge thank you to Dr. Conklin for helping me out, and for helping us all be aware of how important eye health is with our kiddos! I really appreciate it!

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Remember, the book drive is still going on until next Wednesday!! You can still donate at the Chick-fil-A at 2nd & Bryant in Edmond, or email me if you would like to make a large donation!! 

Also, if you are donating, please let me know so you can be entered to win the Nike Transitions Glasses!!