The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Whole child health leads to whole child success

Written by
Amber Freeland
Posted in

Tuesday, Nov 06, 2018

Setting your student up for success starts long before that first bell rings. Eye exams are critical to ensure that they perform well in the classroom, in the gym, and in extra-curricular activities.

A child who is unable to see a blackboard can become easily frustrated, leading to poor academic performance and behavior problems in school. In many cases this inattention is simply a matter of the child not being able to see, a problem that can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam.

Early eye exams are a great idea to detect vision problems long before their schooling is affected, even before kindergarten. Just like fitness assessments, eye exams provide a glimpse into a child’s overall health. In the U.S. alone, nearly 174,000 preschoolers struggle to see due to untreated vision problems. This number is expected to increase by 26 percent by 2060.

The exam can also detect the beginnings of other diseases, like diabetes, which can affect the eyes later in life. Diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy later in life, a disease that causes vision-threatening damage to the retina. Up to 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have diabetic retinopathy, but only 50 percent are aware of it. Diabetes isn’t the only health threat though.

A proper eye exam by an eye care professional can identify a host of other conditions. Multiple sclerosis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease had the highest percentage of identification by eye care practitioners. Aerobic fitness on the other hand, can help reduce the risk of hypertension, coronary heart disease, obesity, some forms of cancer, and other health problems in adults, as well as metabolic syndrome in children and adolescents. Physical activity is also important in keeping diabetes at bay.

That’s why FitnessGram by The Cooper Institute measures aerobic capacity as an important health indicator. When combined – eye exams and fitness assessments – we get a more accurate picture of the overall health of the whole child and how it can be improved. Whole child health can lead to whole child success.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month, which makes it a great time to assess the vision of your child. It’s also a great time to make sure they are getting enough physical activity into their busy schedule. Eye and fitness exams will help your child live #WELLintothefuture