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Remember to put eye exam on your child’s Back-to-School checklist

The 2015-2016 school year has come to a close.  For children and adults, it is time to take a break and enjoy the summer! Before we do that, I’d like to encourage parents to put eye exam on next year’s Back to School checklist.

Eye See Eye Learn (ESEL) – an initiative between the Ontario Association of Optometrists and the Ontario Ministry of Health – provides a complimentary pair of lenses (donated by Nikon) and  frame (donated by OGI) if a child in junior kindergarten  requires glasses.  Eye exams are covered under OHIP for children under 20 years old with a valid health card. This program was developed to raise awareness among parents of the importance of having their children’s eyes checked when starting school.   Children who cannot see the board, focus on a picture or follow words in a book may struggle to achieve their full learning potential.  Vision problems can also impact their hand-eye coordination for physical activities and even impact their social development.  In fact, 80 per cent of learning comes directly through vision.

Dr. Mei-Ling Chan Optometry was happy to talk about this initiative at the local Speaking with Fribbit at Mapleview Heightschool Mapleview Height’s end of school barbeque.  Local artist Errol Lee’s Caring Kids’ Concerts was the perfect platform to bring awareness to this initiative.  We had Fribbit (the ESEL mascot) join us at the barbeque and the children delighted in giving him high fives.

Did you know that 25% of children have a vision problem that can affect their ability to succeed at school, but only 14% of Ontario’s JK students have had an eye exam?  Can your child see well?  Take a look at the Vision Check-List and make sure your child is not at risk for vision problems.  Bring them in for an eye exam at Dr. Mei-Ling Chan Optometry and make sure their eyes will help them excel and not be a deterrent.  They are at the beginning of their academic journey, don’t let them fall behind.

ESEL will be rolling out July 1, 2016 (till June 30, 2017) and children born in 2012 and attending any Jk program (in Public, Catholic, Private, Day Care and even home schooled) are eligible.

Happy summer!