Babies and children use their eyes to make sense of the world around them. It’s how they know your eyes, your smile and in the beginning one of the main ways they evaluate their environment.
However, by the time children get to preschool, a large percentage of them have vision issues.
According to a study from the National Institutes of Health, 4 percent of preschoolers have nearsightedness, 21 percent have farsightedness and 10 percent have astigmatism or irregular curve of the eye.
The American Optometric Association actually suggests that children should begin receiving eye exams at 6 months old with follow-ups scheduled for 3 years-old and before entering first grade.
In a survey conducted by VSP Vision Care, 83 percent of parents agree that regular eye exams help kids do their best at school. However, 4-in-10 parents wait until their children complain about not being able to see properly before scheduling an eye exam. Only 1 in 10 parents knew that children should have an eye exam at 6 months old.
But there are a variety of reasons parents should be thinking about making vision care a priority.
Eye Health is As Important as Dental Health
The survey conducted by VSP Vision Care also found that twice as many parents worry about their children’s dental problems (15 percent) than their vision issues (7 percent), even though most children lose their baby teeth by age 12 or 13.
However, having your children’s eyes checked on a regular basis by an eye care professional can be an opportunity to detect and treat eye issues before the grow into larger problems. No matter what age group your children fall into, it is suggested that they get their eyes checked once a year.
Vision Impairment can cause reading delays
A 2016 study funded by the National Eye Institute has shown that uncorrected farsightedness in preschoolers is associated with literacy delays and deficits.
The research from the NIH looked at 492 children, ages 4-5, and divided them into two groups – those with farsightedness and those with normal vision. Results revealed considerably worse performance among children with moderate uncorrected farsightedness. Their performance was most impacted in the print portion of the test, which assessed the ability to recognize letters and words.
However, the survey from VSP Vision Care found that one of the main reasons that people skip eye exams is a lack of eye insurance. In fact, 31 percent of people say the expense of having their eyes checked is a factor and 28 percent specifically cite insurance as a reason that they skip having their eyes checked.
But, it may not be as financially cumbersome as you imagine. Did you know that you can buy your own vision insurance coverage for yourself and your family on your own and receive the same quality vision care, doctor network and services you’ve previously had through an employer?
With VSP Individual Vision Plans you can obtain the vision care you need no matter what your work situation is like. The plans include comprehensive eye exams, glasses, lens enhancements, contacts and more. Plans start at $13 a month and you can enroll year-round. Family plans start just under $38 a month too.
These plans are a cost saving option for anyone who doesn’t have access to vision coverage through work. This includes people who work part-time, are self employed, college students and retirees since Traditional Medicare doesn’t cover annual eye exams and glasses or contacts.
The typical savings with the Standard Plan is more than $200 a year. Find out more at GetVSPDirect.com and enroll today. You can also call 877-988-4746 and enroll over the phone.
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I so agree with this! Taking care of your eyes is important. Mine are terrible so I had lasik. So far, my kids seem to have my husband’s great vision, but that could change.
Vision insurance is so important. We have routine eye exams, and insurance really helps mitigate the cost.
All kinds of health insurance is extremely important for all families. I just had my eyes exam and will be getting new glasses in a couple of weeks.
I’m so thankful we have vision insurance. My daughter had a rare problem happen to her right eye once and having vision insurance helped so much with all the specialists we had to see.
I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 1 1/2 years old and I’ve had vision insurance for several years now. I am so grateful myself for that insurance. Makes purchasing glasses much cheaper.
My son is 9 months old, and my husband and I have been holding off on vision and dental insurance for him just yet. I actually haven’t thought about a good age to add him onto the vision, but it’s on my list of things to do when it’s time to choose healthcare preferences again for the year.
I have vision insurance and I know now that my LASIK is almost a year old I should get checked out. We had the kids done in the summer but both my kids wear glasses and need annual checkups so insurance would help.
I could not go without vision insurance! I am blind as a bat without my contacts. Unfortunately my son got my eyes so he is already wearing glasses. It is definitely important to have vision insurance.
I have always been lucky with my vision, but I do regular check ins anyway, you never know
This is such a great reminder for a lot of parents, vision health is as important as Dental but sometimes people forget
This is definitely something worth discussing with my family. I definitely want everyone having their regular eye exams.
All three of us in our house wear glasses and rely on them. Having vision insurance is a must because the cost really adds up. I once had to see a specialist but am thankful to have it turn out okay.
Pretty much every one in my home wears glasses. Taking care of your eyes is so important. I have to look into getting this for my family.
It’s time for me to have my sons Eyes checked and for his glasses to be upgraded. When I do this I need to get my eyes checked as well since they been bothering me.
I actually did not have vision insurance as an adult until I married my husband. I realized how poor my vision was. So important to have!
Vision insurance is definitely important. I’m in Canada where children are covered under the provincial healthcare plan for eye exams and any follow-up appointments, but adults are not covered.
I have to agree with you on this. You’d be surprised how many aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.
This is so important! I know someone who has a lot of issues with their eyes because their parents never took them to get their eyes checked growing up, which meant a problem was missed for a long time. I always keep this in mind to keep my kids on a good eye exam schedule.
I can’t agree with this more! The majority of my family wears glasses.
Vision insurance is super important! I cannot imagine not having it since my daughter depends on it.
We’ve never had the luxury of vision insurance. We’ve always had to pay out of pocket. Will look into it now!
Wow – this was really interesting! I checked out the link you have to that 2016 study and am totally sending that to my sister with 3 little kids!
We recently took our kids for their first eye exam last month. I couldn’t believe how bad my 9 year old’s eyes really were.
It is so important. Ours used to be provided under our government provided health insurance but they took that away. It’s a shame too but as someone whose daughter has a genetic history of a serious eye disease, I know how vital this is.
I agree that it’s very important. My family always goes in yearly for our checkups. Most of my family wears glasses, so it’s very important for us to have insurance.
Visiion is important for many reasons. Especially important for young readers, so they grow up seeing properly.
I actually signed up for VSP. A great savings and I just used it for contacts. Winning!
When I was a principal, I did vision screenings on my K-2 students. Often we could correct reading issues if we caught the vision issues early.
Vision insurance is very important. Not only for our eyes as parents but to keep our kids eyes checked, and it really helps offset the cost.
Two of my kids have had eye surgery and wear glasses. Kids get free eye care here until they are 10. Justin has an exam coming up as well. Poor kids got my bad eyes
Vision insurance does come in handy. I don’t have it and paid almost $1,000 for exams and glasses this year. Children really should have their eyes examined once they get in school because if they can’t see well they likely will have trouble in their studies.
Having your child’s vision checked regularly is so important. That reminds me that I have to book an eye exam for my son. Here in Ontario, Canada eye exams are free for children 18 and under every 2 years. Thankfully, we have insurance to cover the majority of the cost for any glasses needed.
After having to fork out over $300 for glasses and contacts, I need some vision insurance!
We are lucky to have vision insurance and dental insurance, but even when we had neither, we still had eye doctor and dentist visits! For us, the insurance wasn’t as important as actually being checked out every year. My son’s school has free dental and vision screenings, as well. But we still always took him on our own.
Vision insurance is so important! My daughter wears glasses, so we are always at the eye doctor. So thankful for our insurance.
I noted that a lot of children have vision issues nowadays. For many parents a fanancial help is so important! I like the idea that plans start fron only 13$ a month!
my husband wears glasses. vision health is def important!
We don’t have vision insurance. Now, I’m thinking we should reconsider, especially after reading this.
I totally agree with you. Both my son and I have vision issues so our vision insurance really do help a lot.
I totally agree, I had to get glasses when I was 8 years old and it changed everything for me!
Family Vision Insurance is something that every family should have. The eye health is so important!
Vision insurance is essential for families. Too many people go without this coverage. We have VSP coverage and love it!
I agree that it is very important to monitor the health of the eyes in children. In our family there is hereditary myopia. And although my husband and I have full vision but our daughter, myopia. And it’s good that we checked her eyesight once a year and identified it at an early stage.
Vision checks are so important for kids! My daughter just turned three, and just got glasses. They are making a huge difference for her (far sighted) I’m so happy we had her eyes checked!
Taking care of your vision is definitely so important! I totally need to make sure I get my kids in.
As someone who has worn glasses since I was 8, I definitely agree – so important to have insurance. It’s important to stay on top of your eyes exams. And glasses can be so expensive!
Thank you so much for sharing. I recently just had to take my son that is 3 because now he needs glasses and I can easily not gotten him the vision insurance but we did. He officially wears glasses at age 3. I am glad that I caught it on time though. Great post!
I’ve neglected my eye health over the years! Thanks for this enlightening post. I will be scheduling an appointment shortly.
You are SO right on about vision being as important as dental. I try to also keep up with my own vision screenings but am a little lazy about it. Gotta get on it!
This is such a great post! I think when we are looking for insurance we are always looking for the best deal. If the best deal doesn’t have vision, we are generally ok with it. But this post is really good for reminding us that we need to take care of every aspect.
Vision is so important to keep up with, and having vision insurance seems to take the costs down quite a bit. I love that there’s an option for those who don’t have vision insurance, we really need to take care of our eyes because seeing is important.