It’s Children’s Vision and Learning Month, and you’d be surprised how important vision can be to learning.
1 in 10 children have a vision problem significant enough to affect their ability to learn.
20/20 vision means you can see at a distance, but it doesn’t mean a child can focus, coordinate, and track with their eyes, which can impact their performance in school.
Children with vision problems can be misdiagnosed with ADHD because they have poor reading comprehension, skip or reread lines, take longer to do school work, or show a short attention span.
Teaching your kids skills like using scissors, drawing, painting, and handwriting before school can help them establish hand-eye coordination, be ahead in school, and help you spot potential eye problems.
School vision screenings provide less than 4% of the eye tests needed to help kids see, and they can miss up to 75% of vision problems.
61% of children who were found to have eye problems through school screenings are never taken to the doctor to get help.
Yearly comprehensive vision exams with an eye doctor are the best way to protect your child’s sight and make sure they’re prepared to learn at school.
Instead of telling you all about how healthy I’m being (although I am cooking and eating better!), I have a confession.
I binge on TV shows. I love TV bingeing.
Actually, I binge on all types of media. I binge on social media (a hazard of the job really), movies, and especially television shows. And when winter hits, especially after getting all new bedding for Christmas like I did this year, all I want to do is curl up in my comfy bed with my dog and Netflix. And this year has been no exception.
I may have (definitely did) watched all 6 seasons of Lost in the last month, and 3 of those were in the last week. (Because I don’t have self-control!) Did I choose a show that encourages this with a million mysteries? Probably. Is it actually crazy that I did this? Yes!
I know I’m not the only one who does this, but I have to say that I feel awful now. Is this partly because I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending? Probably (sorry Lost lovers!). Is it because I stayed up ‘til 3 a.m. to finish it before work? Totally.
But it’s also because it has been emotionally draining! Investing that much thought for days and hours in a row, especially in characters experiencing some serious drama, has been exhausting. I’ve felt the stress of their lives on top of my shoulders for the last three weeks. I may or may not have spent an unhealthy amount of time crying about people that aren’t real for the last day. That’s completely crazy!
Not to mention there’s a physical toll. Lack of sleep, check. Shoulders aching from stress, check. Back nearly out from sitting still for 8-hour blocks at a time, check. Puffy eyes and stuffed nose, check. An unhealthy level of Doritos in my body, check.
And guess what, this is bad for you! Science says so!
Scientists have compared sitting still for long periods to smoking. In this Huffington Post article, Dr. James Levine is quoted as saying, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV and is more treacherous than parachuting. We are sitting ourselves to death. “
I sit all day at work, I’m hunched over my phone using my own and my job’s social media 24/7, and then I binge on TV in my bed all winter long. And all this sitting increases my risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, muscular problems, and depression, and it can even lower my energy. (See infographic below.)
And all this hunching over and staring at screens increases the risk for bad posture, back problems, carpal-tunnel, neck strain, and eye problems. The Atlantic recently highlighted a study about the scary amount of time we let our kids stare at screens, much more than the recommended 2 hour a day max, increasing their risk of all of those problems. And at this rate, I personally am spending at least 15 hours of my day with a screen, and that’s actually being generous for my time offline.