As the new school year approaches, children throughout New Jersey are gathering their school supplies. With pencils, erasers and notebooks in tow, children slowly ready themselves for another year of study. However, the final component often overlooked by parents and educators may be the most critical to a child’s academic success — an eye exam.
The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 19 million children are currently living with visual impairments. Of those, 12 million children are visually impaired due to refractive errors, a condition that could be easily diagnosed and corrected. Yet, according to the American Optometric Association, undetected vision problems are still a significant childhood handicap and could, in some circumstances where the child displays similar signs and symptoms, lead to children being mislabeled as having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In fact, the American Public Health Association estimates that 25% of students in grades K-6 have visual problems that are serious enough to impede learning.
In recognition of this critical link between eye health and learning, the Kaufman Zita Group helped the New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) secure a Governor’s Proclamation designating August 2017 Children’s Vision and Learning Month in New Jersey.
This important proclamation recognizes the significance of proper eye care for children and underscores the critical link between eye health and learning. The proclamation also encourages parents and educators to address learning-related vision problems, helping ward off potential learning disabilities derived from visual impairment and, ultimately, enabling children to achieve their full potential.
You can read the full Proclamation here.