Back-to-school eye exams encouraged


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — From backpacks to supplies, there’s a lot to remember on the back-to-school list.

But here’s something else you should add to that list: eye checkups.

Summer is winding down, and that means back to school season is ramping up for families, including Kylie Kiesner’s.

Her four-year-old and one-and-a-half-year-old received their eye checkups within the last few months.

“Both kids came out with a healthy score, which is great, and it’s just a good feeling to know that their eyes are in good shape heading into the school year,” Mother Kylie Kiesner said.

No matter how your child will be learning this year, now is good time to make sure their eyes are healthy and that they can see well.

“For younger kids, if they can’t see the board or the teacher or what’s going on they may be fidgety and not paying attention, therefore, they may not be learning and that’s a distraction to the other kids,” Sanford Pediatric Ophthalmologist Dr. Geoffrey Tufty said.

Dr. Tufty says now is a busy time for vision checks.

“You can initially start, if you’re having your shots, physicals, to have the vision checked with your primary doctor. If there’s a concern, then see your family doctor to see if there’s an issue whether they need glasses or to see if the health of the eye is good. If there’s a family history of glasses or a family history of eye problems you should get your child in to see your local eye care provider,” Dr. Tufty said.

It’s one more thing Kiesner can check off the back-to-school list.

“I think it’s important to stay on top of your vision and all wellness appointments, even through COVID, because you just don’t know sometimes with those younger kids if there is something you can get on top of to help them be better students,” Kiesner said.

Dr. Tufty says a child’s vision can change quite a bit, depending on growth spurts, especially if they wear glasses.

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