Kindergarten is an important step in your child’s life. Kindergarten helps your child learn how to socialize and sets them on their path to academic success. But children with undiagnosed refractive errors are at a disadvantage, as they often fall behind in learning and become frustrated with school. It is estimated that 80% of learning is visual, which causes difficulty for children who can’t see properly. To ensure refractive errors aren’t impeding your child’s academics and development, take them for a children’s eye exam, and if your kindergartener needs eyeglasses, you can use the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program to get these regardless of your optical insurance coverage.
Eyeglasses For Your Kindergarten-Aged Child
How To Know If Your Child Needs Eyeglasses
Many parents don’t realize that their children need eyeglasses before school starts. Once in the classroom, they may struggle to see the front of the room or worksheets at their desks, depending on their refractive error. Some signs that children need eyeglasses include:
- Squinting to see
- Getting very close to objects they are trying to see in detail
- Tilting their head when looking at items
- Covering an eye when looking at items
- Eye rubbing
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty reading or writing
- Low performance levels in school
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Dislike of detailed tasks
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, they may require eyeglasses. While these signs often signal to parents that their child needs to visit an optometrist for an eye exam, parents should also take their children for eye exams every year, starting at age 5. Even if your child has not shown symptoms of a refractive error, they may still have one. Back to school eye exams are very important, as they can influence your child’s learning, socializing, and emotional associations with learning.
How The EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ Program Helps Your Child Receive Eyeglasses
The EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program was developed by the Alberta Association of Optometrists to help children in Alberta receive the eye care they need. This program is simple to access. For a child to qualify for the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program, children must:
- Be kindergarten aged. The child is eligible for this program between the time they start kindergarten and the time they start grade 1.
- Receive an eye exam. Children cannot receive eyeglasses without an eye exam from a professional optometrist.
- Be prescribed eyeglasses. After the eye exam, the pediatric optometrist must prescribe eyeglasses for your child.
- Have their parent ask for it. Accessing the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program is simple. There is no extensive paperwork, you merely have to tell the My Optometrist staff that your child needs eyeglasses from the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program and you will receive them.
Eyeglasses Through The EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program
When your child is starting their academic journey, ensure you take them for an eye exam at My Optometrist to assess their eye health and give them the best tools for academic success. If your kindergarten-aged child does need eyeglasses and you don’t have optical insurance coverage, don’t fret: the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN™ program is available to anyone who asks, no strings attached. At My Optometrist in Calgary and Three Hills, we believe in the importance of affordable eye care for all and we are proud to be a part of your child’s success and healthy vision.
To book an eye exam with one of our eye doctors, contact My Optometrist at one of our three locations at Health First in SE Calgary, Sunridge in NE Calgary, or Three Hills, AB. You can also call us or fill out the online contact form.
Q: When should I have my child’s vision checked?
A: Young children should receive at least three eye exams before their first year of school: a first eye exam around 6 months of age, a second one at age 3, and a final one right before school starts.
Q: What is included in the pediatric eye exam?
A: An eye examination for children usually includes vision testing, eye health evaluation, and eye alignment testing.
Q: I don’t have optical insurance. What can I do to get my child the eye care they need?
A: Any Alberta resident under the age of 18 has their eye exams covered by provincial insurance and any Alberta residents of any age are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) for emergency eye care.