It’s that time of year again – our office is overrun with 5 year olds getting their kindergarten eye exams! These kids are a joy to examine. They’re a little nervous at first - they watch us like hawks making sure we don’t have any needles to poke them with. But when they find out we don’t give shots and we’re going to have some fun while checking their eyes they usually warm right up to us.
In 2008, the state of Illinois began requiring all school-aged children to have a comprehensive eye exam from an optometrist or ophthalmologist before entering kindergarten. Before then, it was a good idea, but after 2008 it was the law. And, unlike some laws, this law has been a great one. We have found many, many children with significant visual problems that, if not for the mandatory eye exam, would have had their eye problem undiagnosed. Since up to 75% of learning is visual, you can see how this can have a major impact on these kids’ academic performance and, in turn, on their life.
So if you’re a parent of a soon-to-be kindergartner, bring them in for their eye exam before school starts. Yearly eye exams are a good idea for everyone, but they are essential for these little ones getting ready to start school for the first time. Plus, all kids entering kindergarten who get an eye exam at our office get a cool t-shirt, and everybody loves t-shirts!
Until next time –
Clint Taylor, OD