Add eye exam to children's back-to-school list

Is eye examination on your back-to-school list? Islamabad, Sep 26: Parents should add an eye examination to their children's back-to-school list, experts say.

Studies show that 86 percent of children start school without ever having an eye examination, even though youngsters can't learn if they can't see properly.

According to the American Optometric Association's 2009 survey, which assesses the knowledge and understanding of issues related to eye and visual health, 88 percent of respondents were unaware that one in four students has a visual impairment.

"Because a child's vision may change frequently, regular eye and vision care is crucial to a student's classroom success," said Dr. Michael Earley, optometrist and the AOA's vision and learning specialist, in an association news release. "Unfortunately, most parents are not including eye examinations as part of their child's back-to-school health check-up."

According to the survey, 58 percent of parents did not take their child for an eye examination before age 3. The AOA recommends that the first eye assessment takes place at 6 months of age, followed by comprehensive eye examinations starting at age 3, and then repeat examinations every two years, unless directed otherwise by an optometrist.

Previous studies have found that 60 percent of children labelled as "problem learners" may actually have undetected vision problems and are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the association noted.

Treatment is more likely to be successful if vision problems are detected and treated early, according to the news release.

In between visits to the eye doctor, parents and teachers should watch for signs of eye problems. Schedule an eye examination if you notice that your child:

* Loses their place while reading

* Avoids close work

* Has a tendency to rub their eyes

* Complains of frequent headaches

* Turns or tilts their head when looking at something

* Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing

* Uses a finger to keep their place when reading

* Confuses or omits simple words when reading

* Seems to consistently perform below potential

* Struggles to finish their homework

* Squints while reading or watching television

* Experiences behavioral problems

* Holds reading material too close to their face.

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School children fainted because of scorching heat
Rawalpindi: A large number of people including school children in the twin cities fainted because of ongoing scorching heat and humidity.

Eleven persons including five school children namely Rashid Mehmood of Kamalabad, Nasreen Bibi of New Lalazar, Ahmed Hasan of Committee Chowk, Jamila Ikram of Saddar, Muhammad Ramazan of Rawat, Raja Javed Kiyani of Rawat and school children Muhammad Qamar, Adil Hussain, Farooq Ahmed, Javed Iqbal and Amna Sheraz fell unconscious because of severe heat on Friday.

Two to three hours loadshedding has again started in different parts of the city while cold drink sellers have also increased the rates of their products in the twin cities.

Mostly students remain stuck up in their classrooms even in recess timings because of scorching heat and humidity, teachers of different schools said.

An official of the Met Office Farooq Dar said that the heat wave would persist during next 10 days in the country including Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Presently, the temperature of the twin cities is 38 Celsius, which might be increased to 42C in the next few days while the humidity level in Rawalpindi and Islamabad is 85%, the Met Office informed. The Met Office also informed that there is a slight chance of rain in the twin cities.

Dr Naila Rehman advised the people, particularly children, to consume more and more water to improve the deficiency of minerals in their bodies. She also advised people to avoid scorching heat. She also warned people against consuming unhygienic food from markets and hotels these days.

All students, particularly of the second shifts in the educational institutions are the worst sufferers because of the scorching heat and humidity in the afternoon.

Mehwish Riaz, a student of 2nd year, said that she could not walk because of scorching heat. The news

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