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      Never too young for an eye exam

      We??re told to have our eyes examined at least once a year. For parents of grade school-aged children, now is the perfect time to have your child??s eyes checked before school begins.

      Dr. Craig Kurtz of the Vision Clinic in Houghton said it??s never too early to take a child to the optometrist.

      ??If both parents wear glasses, sooner is better than later,?? he said. ??Two is not unreasonable, and you would be surprised at how well a three-year-old can do in an adult exam. They can do a lot. We have pictures instead of letters, and they can make a lot of judgments even at three.??

      A typical exam lasts about 45 minutes. Dr. Kurtz said less than 25 percent of his younger patients need glasses, and many times he??ll give them eye training exercises to strengthen their vision.

      He said children are able to wear contacts as well, and many of his more athletic patients find them useful.

      ??The more practical consideration is how responsible the youngster is,?? explained Dr. Kurtz. ??So, if I have a responsible third grader who I know will keep his or her hands clean when they??re handling the lenses, no problem.??

      Whether your child is having trouble reading, has frequent headaches, or poor hand-eye coordination, it??s best to get eyes checked sooner rather than later.

      ??Many times, someone comes and sits in the chair and can??t even read the big print, the 20/60, for example,?? said Dr. Kurtz. ??It comes on them so gradually, they expect that that??s just how everybody sees. So, a lot of things we find that the patient doesn??t notice.??

      For parents, it could be easier to take your child to the doctor over the summer rather than pulling them out of school for an appointment, but there are only a few weeks of summer left!