Optometrists at Bupa Optical say parents should add ‘book eye test for kids’ to their annual back to school to-do list.
Research shows many Australian children are spending extra hours in front of devices for school and socialising during the pandemic. This is combined with decreased outdoor time and could result in more children developing eye issues such as short-sightedness.
According to Bupa Optical optometrist Karen Makin, “Unlike many physical conditions, vision impairments can be difficult for a parent to identify, however there are some tell-tale signs a parent can take note of, such as squinting, watery eyes or just general tiredness and an inability to concentrate properly.
“Parents who suspect their child has developed a vision impairment or is experiencing a deterioration of an existing condition should visit an optometrist for an eye test.”
Recent research found children were 73 per cent less likely to meet moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity guidelines compared to before the pandemic.
It is recommended that all children have their eyes tested before they start school for the first time. Annual eye tests are recommended thereafter to track any changes or emerging problems.
“If required, a pair of glasses or contacts can make a significant and immediate difference to a child’s day to day life and give them the best chance at succeeding at school.
“Another way to help protect your kids’ eyesight is by ensuring they maintain a healthy diet, foods like green leafy vegetables, fish, fresh fruit and foods high in antioxidants can all help in keeping your eyes healthy… it’s not just carrots as the old myths would have you believe,” said Ms Makin.