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Child Eye Exams: When Are They Necessary?

Did you know that approximately 25% of children in grades kindergarten through sixth have vision problems? A child’s vision can affect their performance in school, their behavior, and their mood.

Kids with eye problems should see a doctor right away. If they don’t, it’s possible to fall behind in school and may lead to more vision damage.

How can you tell if your child has vision issues? Keep reading to learn when it is time to schedule child eye exams.

Your Child’s First Eye Exam

When should a child get an eye exam? Your baby should get their first eye exam between six and twelve months old. At this age, doctors can detect early signs of eye trouble.

During the pediatric eye exam, the doctor will check for farsightedness, nearsightedness, muscle problems, and eye disease. To do this, the doctor will see how the baby’s eyes react to light, if their eyes follow a moving object, and if their pupils dilate.

They may use an instrument to look at the baby’s eyes. This will inform them of any issues within the eye.

During this appointment, be sure to tell the doctor if there is a family history of eye problems. If you, the other parent, or siblings have eye problems, the doctor may suggest more testing and frequent eye exams to make sure that issues do not develop.

Additional Eye Exams

After your baby’s first eye exam, there are other normal checkups they need to have throughout their childhood. Their next eye exam should be between the ages of three and five years old.

Your child should have a kid’s eye exam before they start pre-school or kindergarten. During their first exam, the child will be too young to take a traditional eye exam or offer any input.

During this exam, your child may take an exam where they identify pictures on a chart. The doctor may ask them about their vision.

After this exam, your child should have an eye exam each year during their annual checkup. If there are any issues, they may need to see a pediatric eyecare doctor, such as

Trust Your Gut

One of the most important parts of being a parent is trusting your gut. If you think your child is having vision issues, take them to see their doctor! Delaying eye exams for kids can lead to issues in school and further eye damage.

Some common signs of problems in children include squinting, sitting close to the television, losing their place while reading, rubbing their eyes, and teary eyes.

Is It Time for Your Baby to Get Child Eye Exams?

Because vision is important to a child’s wellbeing, they should start having eye exams for children as early as 6 months old. After their initial visit, they should have child eye exams before going to school and at least once per year after that.

Are you looking for more health advice? If so, check out the health and lifestyle category for more helpful tips!