The Back to School Item Most Parents Miss
SOUTHWEST, ON, Aug. 22, 2012 /CNW/ - New shoes for gym…CHECK. New backpack for books… CHECK. Eye exam to read and learn… CHECK. This year don't overlook the most important back to school readiness decision that can help your child cope with the challenges of learning. With school starting shortly, parents of Junior Kindergarten children should book their child's Eye See…Eye Learn exam to ensure their child's eyes are healthy and seeing well.
Starting July 1, children entering Junior Kindergarten this fall in Hamilton, London, Niagara, Sarnia-Lambton and Windsor-Essex are eligible to participate in the free Eye See…Eye Learn® (ESEL) program that encourages parents to book a comprehensive eye exam with a participating Doctor of Optometry for their JK child.
The eye exam is covered by the child's health card (OHIP). If the child requires glasses, they will receive a pair of high quality, impact resistant and UV protected glasses free of charge courtesy of ESEL partners Jungle Eyewear® and Hoya Vision Care.
The Eye See…Eye Learn program was created to address the alarming fact that 75 per cent of children between the ages of five and nine have not had their eyes examined by a Doctor of Optometry and a staggering 93 per cent of all children under the age of five have never been tested; despite the fact that annual eye examinations are covered by OHIP for children 19 years of age and under.
"Children can be labelled as having behavioural or learning disabilities because they are unable to see or focus on the work when all they require is a pair of eyeglasses. An eye exam can give parents the piece of mind of knowing whether their child can see well or not," says Dr. Sheldon Salaba, President of the Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO).
Dr. Josephine Pepe, a London optometrist agrees. "Optometrists have child friendly assessments for determining the complete health of a young child's eyes. The exam is thorough so parents will know exactly how their child's eyes are developing and if there are any concerns that require monitoring."
"Many parents, who thought their children could see fine, are shocked when a serious vision problem is diagnosed. Many feel badly and wonder why they didn't notice something earlier. Unfortunately, problems aren't always obvious to a parent or even the child. Children don't have any form of comparison," says Dr. Pepe.
"I noticed a huge change in my son's behaviour after his ESEL exam. He wasn't complaining about going to school. He was more interested in me reading with him," says Hamilton parent Jessica Williams. "In talking with his teachers, his behaviour dramatically changed. Every parent should have their child's eyes checked by an optometrist."
Optometrists are most concerned about a condition called amblyopia or lazy eye. Failure to detect this condition at an early age can result in a permanent reduction in a child's vision and limit potential career options requiring good working sight in both eyes.
The OAO with funding assistance from the Ontario Government is partnering with local school boards, health units, and corporate partners like CNIB to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of vision problems so that every child can see and learn to the best of his or her ability.
To book your child's Eye See…Eye Learn® appointment, visit www.EyeSeeEyeLearn.ca or call toll free (855) 424-ESEL (3735) for more information.
Doctors of Optometry are university educated and clinically trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the eye and visual system. They provide primary eye care services in the province of Ontario. Founded in 1909, OAO is the voluntary professional organization that represents more than 1,500 optometrists in Ontario.
The Eye See…Eye Learn® program has been running in Hamilton since 2009. The Eye See... Eye Learn® program is currently operating in the following school boards:
|London • Sarnia • Windsor • Woodstock||Conseil scolaire de district catholique -Sud Ouest|
|Halton • Hamilton • London • Niagara • Peel • Sarnia • Windsor • York||Conseil scolaire Viamonde|
|Hamilton - Catholic||Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board|
|Hamilton - Public||Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board|
|London - Catholic||London District Catholic School Board|
|London - Public||Thames Valley District School Board|
|Niagara - Catholic||Niagara Catholic District School Board|
|Niagara - Public||District School Board of Niagara|
|Sarnia-Lambton-Chatham-Kent - Catholic||St. Clair Catholic District School Board|
|Sarnia-Lambton/Chatham-Kent - Public||Lambton Kent District School Board|
|Windsor - Catholic||Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board|
|Windsor - Public||Great Essex County District School Board|
SOURCE: Ontario Association of Optometrists
For further information:
Toll Free: 1-855-424-3735 Or Local: 905-326-8522 ext. 243
Email: [email protected]