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How Can I Tell if My Child Needs Glasses? Making Kids’ Vision a Priority

Wondering how you can take care of your vision and help a child in need of vision care? One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem.

Right now, when you purchase an individual vision insurance plan from VSP Direct™ for as low as $17/month, a child in need receives a free eye exam and glasses, up to a retail value of $1 million. Find out more at to VSP for sponsoring this post.


When’s the last time your child has their eyes checked?

If you’re anything like me, I’ll bet you said “at school, when they do the yearly eye check-up”

Every Fall, my kids have the nurse at school give them an eye exam.

Trying to get kids to sit still in the dentist’s chair pushes me to my limit but an eye exam?  I didn’t think I needed to worry about that until they were much older.

When my daughter was in 3rd grade, she came home one October day announcing that she had “perfect vision”!  

Great!  All was well so I just put it out of my mind and figured we’d have her eyes checked again the following Fall when she was back at school.

Oh, if life were just that easy …



Taking Care of Your Child’s Eyes

A few months later, a note came home from school telling us that she was having a problem keeping up in math.  She wasn’t able to master “telling time” and the teacher asked if we could work on it at home.

No problem!

We sat down after school for a few days with both a watch (for analog time) and a digital clock and practiced telling time.  I could see she understood the concepts and as we went through to re-do her previous papers, things were going smoothly.

So I sent the papers back to school, letting the teacher know that I thought everything was fine and she had a good grasp on the subject.

Test day comes – and she failed the test.


So the teacher sent the test home and we sat down on the couch to talk through what she had missed.

When I asked her to look at the clock on the wall as we reviewd the first problem, she got off the couch, walked over to the wall to look and came back to sit down.


So I asked, “Can you see the clock?

Yes“, she replied.

So why are you walking over to the wall?

I can’t see the numbers from here.”


does my child need glasses?

{This is where my hand smacks my head} So when both her teacher and I asked her things like ‘can you see the board’ she would say yes – well of course she can see the board – it’s huge!

I never thought to say ‘can you read this word on the board’ – duh!

Note to Mom: Kids are so literal.


So off we went to visit the eye doctor we went  for an exam — we found a great doctor that specialized in working with kids which was wonderful since my daughter isn’t a fan of medical appointments.

During our visit, I mentioned that she had an eye screening at school just 6 months earlier and everything was fine with her vision.  The doctor told me it’s not uncommon for kids to have vision changes very quickly.

She also let us know that young kids don’t understand vision changes – they don’t identify it as ‘something’s wrong’ when things get a little blurry.

Unfortunately it was the week we were leaving for our vacation in the Rocky Mountains and her glasses wouldn’t be ready until we returned.  I was so dissappointed on our trip when I realized that she couldn’t see the mountain goats up on the ledge or get a good look at the moose we encountered. 

It really bummed me out as a Mom — these were once in a lifetime experiences and she was missing out 🙁


Making vision care for kids a priority

We found one of those binocular machines that she used to get a great view of our hiking trail one day — I remember she was amazed at some of the detail she could see when looking through the viewer vs. just trying to look without it.

When we left the office with her new glasses the following week, she walked outside and started talking about the details of the leaves on the tree in the parking lot.

Later than night, she said ‘hi’ to our neighbor over the fence and called them by name – and I realized that we usually had to tell her who was waving to her, she would just yell ‘hi’ but now she was able to see who was waving back.

And we even got some great feedback from her PE teacher – she started doing better in gym class (because she could see the ball when they played kickball and things like that).

It’s amazing how good vision can have such an impact on your daily activities – you could tell she was more comfortable in her activities and now able to see life to it’s fullest!


 up close with baby alligator

On our next vacation, she could see the buffalo and the alligators along with all the other cool stuff we experienced!


So How Can You Tell if Your Child Needs Glasses?

In our experience, there were a few ‘tell tale’ signs that we needed to see an eye doctor.

Look for things that might seem out of the norm for your child:–

  • if your child walks across the room in order to see something,
  • if they need to sit close to the tv when they watch
  • if they constantly squint to see something across the room or
  • if they are getting frequent headaches especially during the school day (which can happen when they strain to see the board).

Now we make regular trips to our eye doctor; sometimes more than once a year because he vision is changing that quickly!


But even before you see an issue, make vision care a priority — just like regular visits to the dentist and peditrician.

Put regular eye exams — not just the screenings at school — on your calendar for all the kids!  They’re very affordable and there are some amazing pediatric and family eye doctors that know how to work with even the youngest of children.

Annual eye exams can identify correctable vision problems in kids and give them the ability to see all there is to see if life.

One afforable option for vision coverage is VSP, the nation’s only not-for-profit vision care company.  They’ve worked to develop high-quality, afforable plans that are available in every state – with more than 30,000 providers, VSP has the largest doctors network in the industy.


And I LOVE that they want to help ALL children through their #EyeGiveBack program!




Now through June 30, 2015, when a VSP Direct™ ™ individual vision insurance plan is purchased through , VSP will donate an eye exam and glasses to a child in need – up to a retail value of $1 million.

The #EyeGiveBack is part of VSP’s commitment to building a better future for children in need.

Be sure to check their website for all the details on how to help both your kids and a child in need!


Have your kids had experience with vision problems?  Were you able to find good vision care?





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