Back to school means back to basics

The hint of fall is in the air and “it makes me want to buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly-sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address” (You’ve Got Mail, N. Ephron & D. Ephron, 1998).

Now that school is back in session, let’s get back to basics and back to everyday items that help students navigate the learning process. Beyond the pencils, iPads and colorful binders, there are more basic and important tools.

When I was a middle school-aged student, I had a supply of pencils, notebooks, etc.

However, I was missing an essential tool that would have helped me during those impressionable years: a pair of eyeglasses. For a few years, I went undetected, squinting at the blackboard and hoping that I would get assigned a seat in the front of the class.

Luckily, one of my teachers took notice and I was referred to a functional vision clinic similar to the one offered by North Central Sight Services Inc. I was prescribed eyeglasses for nearsightedness. Not only could I now see the blackboard in class, I was more confident and eager to learn.

Kindergarten registration requires several exams, physicals and immunizations. After this initial preparation, how frequent does your child have a complete eye exam by an optometrist? According to Prevent Blindness America, 80 percent of what a child learns is through his or her vision.

A child’s potential to learn can be affected if he or she has a vision issue.

It is recommended that your child (or student) receive a complete eye exam shortly after birth, prior to preschool (three years of age), prior to kindergarten, or five years of age, and every two years after starting school.

Get back to basics and educate yourself about common eye problems in children and signs and symptoms of possible vision problems.

Larson is marketing and public relations manager at North Central Sight Services.