The beginning of the school year is a classic time for kids to have trouble with their eyesight. In third or fourth grade, many students who previously didn’t wear glasses suddenly need them.
Symptoms include the obvious—squinting, asking to move closer to the board, and headaches. These are usually apparent at the beginning of the school year. Many kids’ eyes may have changed over the summer, but families didn’t notice because very few people need to see the whiteboard from their living room couch.
Talk to your school nurse and ask when it’s convenient to send a child down for a screening. Make sure the screening is during class time, not a special class or, heaven forbid, recess. No need to add missing fun to the child’s stressful experience of taking a vision test the teacher recommended. Watch students all year because new cases will crop up.
Finally, from the School of Hard Knocks, I offer this tip: not all kids will thank you for referring them to the school nurse for vision screening. They’ll blame you for quite a while. I think that you have a moral obligation to refer the child to the school nurse anyway.