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Life Lessons: Protecting your child's eyesight

Published On: Mar 25 2014 05:00:00 AM EDT

Seeing clearly may keep your children on the right track in school.

Janece Henderson stalled as she tried to read a poster just a few feet away.

"It was hard for me to see the smart board," she remembers.

Henderson was one of about 40 students who failed her school's vision test. That's when the principal and area doctors stepped in with free exams and glasses.


A typical exam and glasses could cost about $300.

"The earlier that vision problems are detected, the less time will pass before a child falls behind in school,” says optometrist Victoria Melcher, OD.

According to Dr. Melcher, 80 percent of what students learn in school is presented to them visually.

"Good vision is essential for children to meet their academic potential," she said.

Here are four ways to keep your student's sight solid:

First, take a break from those digital devices every 20 minutes.

Then look away 20 feet for at least 20 seconds.

Also, the farther you hold your digital device away from your face, the better for your eyes.

Dr. Melcher says children's vision could change every six months until their growth levels off.

Next, forget about overdosing on carrots; it’s kale and green leafy vegetables that contain nutrients beneficial to different parts of the eyes.

Also, wear wraparound sunglasses with 100 percent UVA and UVB protection.

Lastly, get eye exams for the kids every time they go through a growth spurt. Chances are their vision changed.

"Even the smallest of prescriptions make a difference in order for eyes to work together," Dr. Melcher explained.

"I think my grades will go up," Henderson said.

It looks like new glasses may just give these students the "all clear" to get ahead in class.