This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and Ontario Association of Optometrists #OntarioESEL sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.
Have you taken your children, even young children, for an eye exam lately?
It has been our tradition for a few years now, to make our appointments as school begins. The optometrist we see is very kind to the kids and the exams are easy. But I prepare them beforehand. I explain where they are going, how the doctor will ask them to look at letters and images, and also about why we go. Just like our annual checkup with our family doctor, and our visits to the dentist during the year, our eye health is very important. We chat about what to look out for – like how headaches or a change in vision are things to tell mom and dad about – and answer any questions they may have. My eldest reads the info pamphlets about the physiology of the eye while we wait to be seen by the Optometrist!
This year’s exams were no different than any other. No changes in their vision.
Fast forward about six months. My son, knowing the importance of eye health and monitoring changes because of our discussions, mentioned to me that he noticed books, screens, and sometimes the board at school weren’t as clear as they used to be. I called our Optometrist and scheduled an appointment. While his eye changes were mild, he did need glasses to read better; up close and from afar in some cases.
There was no disappointment or concern from my 8 year old. He was very excited to pick out a ‘cool’ pair of glasses. I was happy he flagged to me the slight changes in his vision. He was still able to read, but he knew there was something different. He was happy to see the difference when his glasses were ready.
He carefully selected a style he loved for his glasses and was more than proud to put them on and show them off. He has two pairs, one for a back up and to use at home and, one that can stay at school. He is getting better at putting them in their cases (something his mother could learn a lesson about) and there’s never any arguing with him about needing to wear them.
Eye exams are covered under OHIP for children up to 19 years of age, but thanks to a program from the Ontario Association of Optometrists, the Eye See…Eye Learn® program, Junior Kindergarten students across Ontario will also be eligible for free glasses, if prescribed. Students starting JK in September 2015 can have their ESEL exam anytime between July 1, 2015 until June, 30 2016.
Learn more about the program by watching this short video:
We talk about eating well and exercising with our kids, but we can’t see what they see. This is why we need them to communicate with us as best they can when there are changes or concerns. Discussing eye health is important. We need to educate our kids to talk about their concerns with us, and it’s also a good idea to start eye exams early. Our annual eye exams will continue, and I’m confident that the kids will tell us if they are worried about their own eye health.
For now, my son is happy to be cool like his mom and wear his glasses. Or something like that 😉
Start your child’s school year off right like this mom did by taking part in the Eye See…Eye Learn program in Ontario. This program provides OHIP-insured eye exams and complimentary glasses for Junior Kindergarten students who are starting school in September.