SOURCE: Loyola University, news release, Aug. 16, 2016
FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 80 percent of what kids learn in their first 12 years is through their vision. Your back-to-school checklist should include making sure your child's eyesight is OK, an eye expert says.
"Glasses may be the most important back-to-school supply many children get this year," Eileen Gable, a Loyola University eye specialist, said in a university news release.
Vision problems are the fourth most common disability in children. But they often go undetected, she noted.
"Vision is complex and tricky for family members to assess. Children with normal sight in just one eye can appear to see really well when, in fact, they do not. Not having good vision in both eyes can cause poor depth perception and, if left untreated, can last a lifetime and limit career choices," Gable said.
Look to your child's behavior for clues that he or she isn't seeing clearly.
"If your child squints, turns his or her head or tilts it when looking at something, sees with one eye closed, or changes body position to see, there is likely a vision problem," Gable said.
Another clue: The child loses interest in activities.
"Children won't complain of blurry vision but will lose interest quickly because the visual activity is difficult," Gable explained.
Changes in school behavior or grades may also be a sign of vision problems.
"Teachers are a great resource and can work with families to help determine if a child's behavior in school or difficulty with grades might be a response to a vision problem," Gable noted.
The American Academy of Pediatrics outlines warning signs of vision problems in children.