• When Should My Child Get Their First Eye Exam

    August 12, 2019 | Blog
  • The First Eye Exam for Your Child

    The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that all children receive an initial eye exam at age 6 to 12 months, even if they are exhibiting no signs of vision problems. The exam should be conducted by an ophthalmologist or optometrist; an exam by a family doctor or pediatrician, while helpful in spotting problems, is not a substitute for an eye exam by an accredited specialist who has ethical training and tools to perform a thorough exam of the vision and eyes.

    importance of an eye exam

    The Importance of an Eye Exam for Kids

    Vision problems and problems with the ocular system can begin early in life, making pediatric eye care important to ruling out potential issues and giving you the peace of mind that your child’s eyes are healthy. Problems with vision can keep your child from learning as effectively as he or she can. Eye exams early in life can determine that your child is developing essential visual skills, including eye teaming, eye movement, and focusing skills, and that he has good visual acuity at a distance, all of which indicate eye and vision health.

    The eye exams differ depending on the age of your child and your child’s ability to recognize letters or symbols. Typically, the exam includes the collection of medical history, vision testing, eye alignment testing, eye health evaluation, and if necessary, selection of eyeglasses.

    Be sure to alert your eye doctor if your child was born prematurely or exhibited delayed development of motor skills. Also report any excessive blinking, frequent rubbing of the eyes, inability to maintain eye contact, and reduced eye-tracking ability.

    regular eye exam

    Regular Eye Exams

    In addition to the exam your child needs in infanthood, a professional eye exam should be repeated at least once between ages 3 to 5, and again before the child enters the first grade, generally at age 5 or 6. After that, an annual eye exam is recommended for children from ages 6 through 18, even if they are asymptomatic, notes the AOA.

    If your child wears eyeglasses or contacts, then your eye doctor may request your child to come in more frequently, although annually is the norm.

    Remember, vision screening and pediatric eye care can help catch any problems in your child’s eye health or vision early on for the best possible outcome. Schedule your child’s first eye exam with your South County, MO, optometrist today.