It seems like just yesterday Princess Nagger was flashing her baby blues for her very first Selfie. Well, OK, she didn’t really take that Selfie, but it sure looks like it, doesn’t it? She was reaching for my camera when I took that shot oh so long ago. Time sure does fly by!
Now we’re gearing up to get her ready to head off to sixth grade. Sixth Grade, people! Where oh where has the time gone?! Unfortunately, she’s pretty much doomed to have bad eyesight – both the hubby and I are nearsighted.
When Princess Nagger was little, she liked to walk around the house wearing a pair of sunglasses that looked more like glasses with a slight tint:
When I was getting my eyes checked a couple of years ago, she was perusing the kid frames section and kept begging me to buy her a pair of frames – with plain glass in them, so she could wear them for fun. Undoubtedly it was because one of her best friends is a glasses wearer.
She was bummed I didn’t really want to spend $100 on a pair of frames just for her to wear for ‘fun’ – but as luck would have it, we stumbled across a whole rack of $5 glasses that were meant to wear just for fun at one of the stores we stopped by afterwards, and she picked out a funky pair to wear:
She wore them off and on just for fun over the course of the next couple of weeks, but like any of her random interests, they were tucked away, never to be seen again. I wonder if they’ll show up in one of the many moving boxes I have yet to unpack?
In fourth grade when the nurse did the annual mini eye exam for all the students, there was concern that she might need glasses. I suspect Princess Nagger purposely messed up the eye test, because that was during the time she was nagging me to get her some glasses to wear. Needless to say, we took her to her first official eye doctor appointment, and she seemed quite disappointed that she had 20/20 vision.
Add a couple of years, a few more electronic devices, extra computer screen time and lots and lots of reading (often times in low light), it’s possible that she might actually need to get glasses before the start of the school year this year.
I’ll keep you posted – both the kids and myself have an appointment later this week to find out for sure. Little Dude had some trouble with his mini test in Kindergarten this past school year, so it’s best to make sure he can see clearly when he starts first grade this year.
Did you know…
The use of technology among children both at home and in the classroom is on the rise, and a new survey from the American Optometric Association (AOA) shows that parents drastically underestimate the time their children spend on digital devices.
The AOA survey reports that 83 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 estimate they use an electronic device for three or more hours each day. Princess Nagger definitely falls into the “or more” part of that category.
Eighty percent of children surveyed report experiencing burning, itchy or tired eyes after using electronic devices for long periods of time. I thought it odd when Princess Nagger started complaining about having a headache, then realized she’d been on her multiple screens for a lot longer than she should have been.
These are all symptoms of digital eye strain, a temporary vision condition caused by prolonged use of technology. Additional symptoms may include headaches, fatigue, loss of focus, blurred vision, double vision or head and neck pain.
Making sure your children get yearly eye exams is extremely important. The last thing we need is for them to not be able to focus when school starts (literally and figuratively speaking).
Here are some ways we can all help prevent eye strain when it comes to technology:
- Check the height and position of the device. Computer screens should be four to five inches below eye level and 20 to 28 inches away from the eyes. Digital devices should be held a safe distance away from eyes and slightly below eye level.
- Checking for glare on the screen. Windows or other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of a computer monitor. If this happens, turn the desk or computer to prevent glare on the screen. Also consider adjusting the brightness of the screen on your digital device or changing its background color.
- Reduce the amount of lighting in a room to match the computer screen. A lower wattage light can be substituted for a bright overhead light
- Adjusting font size. Increase text size on screen to make it easier on your eyes when reading.
- Keep BLINKING Frequent blinking helps prevent dry eye by keeping the front of the eye moist.
If your kids have never had an exam before, or complain of random headaches and seem to be squinting a lot, be sure to schedule an appointment to have their eyes checked.
Often kids are too scared or embarrassed to say they can’t see something as clearly as they used to, or might be self-conscious about the possibility of having to wear glasses. Make going to the eye doctor a fun part of Back To School shopping and preparations – maybe ‘do lunch’ after the exam.
Princess Nagger and Little Dude have figured out the eye doctor is the best type of doctor compared to a ‘regular’ doctor or dentist – you know, no pain. Ahem.
Personally I can’t wait to see Little Dude behind one of these funky machines like I’ve been so many times in my life:
Starting this summer and every summer from here on out, I will be scheduling appointments for both kids for an annual eye exam when I schedule mine. I want to make sure their eyes stay healthy, and make sure they’ll be able to see clearly for the start of school each year.
Do you have your eyes checked each year? What about your kids – do they get theirs checked, too?
Note: I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the American Optometric Association. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation. As usual, all opinions are my own and not influenced by outside sources. See my disclosure policy here.