The Critical Health Exam Half of US Parents Are Missing

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It’s back to school time, and one in four children will enter the classroom with a vision issue – a rapidly growing phenomenon. But children’s vision issues and annual eye doctor visits aren’t always on the radar of parents who themselves don’t wear glasses or contacts.

US parents are not prioritizing comprehensive eye exams with an eye doctor the same way they prioritize back-to-school pediatrician or dental visits, according to findings from a new survey by VSP and YouGov. Whereas 75 percent of parents take their kids to the pediatrician or dentist before school starts, only 50 percent take them to the eye doctor, according to the survey of 1,000 US parents.

What’s preventing parents from taking their kids for in-person eye exams?

One in four (27 percent) said their kids already get their eyes checked at school; while one in five (20 percent) said once a year is unnecessary. This is just one of many misconceptions that the survey identified.

Busy parents may think they’re saving time by relying on school vision screenings. However, a comprehensive eye exam can detect various vision problems that school screenings often miss. There’s more to eye health than being able to read an eye chart 20 feet away. By some estimates, 60 percent of children who “pass” these screenings have uncorrected vision issues. Kids are used to the vision they have – so they probably won’t complain. Once children get the glasses or treatment they need, it can mean the difference between seeing green blobs and being able to see the leaves on trees.

As children progress in school, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities inside and outside the classroom. An annual, in-person eye exam is the best way to keep on top of changes in prescriptions and overall eye health. The good news for parents it that it’s easy to find an eye doctor near you.

Explore the infographic below to learn more.

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