One in five children has a vision disorder. Not knowing any differently, many of these children accept poor vision and other eye problems as normal. If left unchecked, serious long-term effects can result.
Why? Because good vision and eye health are critical to a child's development. More than 80 per cent of a child's learning is based on vision.
The a-b-See™ campaign is geared towards kindergarten and preschool-age children. Identifying eye health issues at this age is critical, as they can begin to affect children’s academic and social development.
The campaign includes information for parents, resources for teachers and fun, interactive games for kids. Use the buttons to the right to access these materials.
BCAO also created two television ads in support of the campaign. Watch the ads here.
As part of a-b-See™, BCAO is distributing complimentary a-b-See™ Kits to preschools and child-care centres. The kits contain important information on common eye diseases and disorders, warning signs and first-aid instruction. The kit includes activity sheets and materials for the kids.
Preschool and kindergarten classes and child-care centres can request a complimentary kit by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
a-b-See™ is a program of the British Columbia Association of Optometrists, supported by Essilor.
Games for kids
a-b-See™ games for kids are fun, interactive online activities that children ages three to six can play with their parents. As well as being colourful and entertaining, they are a great way to promote visual awareness in your child.
“Eye Spy” is a matching game that tests your child’s visual perception.
“Do you see what I see” shows them how we all see the world through different eyes.
“Googley Eyes” is a colouring and drawing activity where children can build a cartoon picture of themselves. Learn more about the importance of vision and put your hand-eye co-ordination and creativity to the test with these games and more!
Info for Parents
The a-b-See™ campaign is designed to give parents the information they need to protect their child’s vision—now, and into the future.
Nothing is more important than your child’s vision—yet one in five children entering school has a vision disorder, and one in six children has been misdiagnosed with a learning disability when in fact they have a correctable vision problem.
If you have a child between the ages of three and six, try playing the games for kids with them. These fun, interactive online games can help teach your child about the importance of eye health while engaging them in creative play. The games also test their hand-eye co-ordination and observational skills, and can help you identify potential vision problems, although they are no substitute for the advice of your Doctor of Optometry.
For tips on how to detect symptoms of visual disorders and diseases in your child, download Your Child’s Eye Health, a PDF brochure that gives you essential information on children’s eye exams and the importance of vision to childhood learning. It also lists common children’s visual conditions and their warning signs.
Not all children’s eye conditions have obvious symptoms. The best way to protect your child’s eye health is to find a Doctor of Optometry in your area and book an eye exam.
Resources for Teachers
As a teacher, you can play a big part in detecting visual conditions in the children in your care—conditions that can hinder learning, play and how they look at the world. Child care, preschool and kindergarten teachers can be the first to detect early symptoms of some eye problems among children.
Did you know that one in five children entering school has a vision disorder? One in six children has been misdiagnosed with a learning disability when in fact they have a correctable vision problem. It is critical to identify and address vision problems early, since 80 per cent of a child’s learning is based on vision during these formative years.
In your own classroom, you may have children who show the warning signs for visual conditions, including:
- Holding objects too close
- Avoiding puzzles, picture books or other near-distance work
- Covering one eye when looking at something up close
- Complaining of headaches, blurred or double vision, or burning, itching eyes
- Poor eye-hand co-ordination
The a-b-See™ campaign gives teachers the information they need to educate themselves, their students and the students’ parents about the importance of children’s eye health to their social, physical and intellectual growth.
Resources available by mail
BCAO and sponsor Essilor Canada are distributing fun and informative a-b-See™ kits to preschools and child-care centres province-wide. Each kit contains a teacher’s orientation letter, activity sheets and materials for your students, and “Your Child’s Eye Health” brochures for parents. You can request a complimentary a-b-See™ kit by completing the order form and e-mailing it to email@example.com, or printing the form and faxing it to 604-737-9967.
A limited number of French language and French immersion a-b-See™ kits are available through special order. You can request these by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
An expanded range of a-b-See™ kit components are now available online. Everything from in-class activities to take-home information for parents and an essential eye-care guide for teachers can now be downloaded and printed from this web page.
Teacher orientation letter
This introductory letter provides information on the a-b-See™ program and the role you can play in helping to promote children’s eye health.
An essential eye-care guide for teachers
This booklet provides critical information on eye exams, vision therapy, eye diseases and disorders, warning signs and first aid. It also contains information on a-b-See™ activities for children, and a list of selected story books focused on eye issues.
Parents’ information pamphlet
Your Child’s Eye Health is a pamphlet for parents containing important information about their child’s eye health, including information about children’s eye exams, common eye conditions and the warning signs of vision problems. The pamphlet is available in English, French and five other languages:
Googley Eyes Activity
This colouring activity is the perfect opportunity to discuss safety issues and how important eyes are.
This activity sheet includes three fun vision-related activities that can be played with items commonly available in any classroom.
Magic Glasses Activity
This activity requires cardboard cutout glasses and craft materials to decorate them.
Colouring Safari Activity
This colouring activity is full of exotic birds, fish and animals.