October is Children’s Vision Month in Canada October 3, 2017 Get your children’s eyes examined today! Between ages one and two, it’s important for a child to develop good hand-eye coordination and depth perception. There are activities that can help improve these essential visual skills, such as playing with building blocks or balls of any shape and size. Children at age two enjoy listening to and looking at storybooks. It helps them develop visualization skills and prepares them for learning to read. At this stage of their development, toddlers also like to paint, draw and colour, sort shapes and sizes, and fit or assemble pieces. These activities are all integral to their visual development. A preschooler’s eyes are not ready for prolonged or intense concentration at short distances, but they do enjoy TV. To make TV viewing easier on the eyes, the room should be softly lit, the television placed to avoid glare, and the child should sit further away than five times the screen’s width, taking periodic breaks from staring at the screen. Be alert for symptoms that may indicate your child has a visual problem: red, itchy or watering eyes sensitivity to light an eye that consistently turns in or out squinting, rubbing the eyes, or excessive blinking a lack of concentration covering or closing one eye irritability or short attention span holding objects too close avoiding books and television visible frustration or grimacing Protect your child’s vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with a doctor of optometry. Your child should have a complete optometric eye exam at six months, before starting kindergarten, and annually throughout the school years to ensure optimal eye health and developmental progress. Please use our Find an Optometrist link to find an Eye Doctor near you and book an appointment today. If you need additional help, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Optometric Exams and the Need The need for periodic optometric examination has been recognized for many years. Vision and ocular health conditions are not always accompanied by recognizable symptoms. There is often an increased risk to the patient if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner. Relying on the occurrence of obvious symptoms in order to initiate an eye examination exposes the patient to an unnecessary risk. Clinical Evidence Many factors will influence the frequency of optometric examinations and only the examining optometrist, upon the analysis of all factors, can determine when a particular patient should return for another examination. The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) accepted the recommendations contained in the “Review of the Canadian Association of Optometrists Frequency of Eye examinations Guideline – An Evidence-Based Approach”, Principal Investigators: Barbara E. Robinson, PhD., Paul Stolee, PhD. Research Team: Katie Mairs, MSc., Selena Santi, MA., Christine Glenny, MSc. Prepared by: Katie Mairs, MSc. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.