Staying proactive in your child’s eye health can mean the difference between a happy and healthy child who does well in school and a frustrated child with health, behavioral, and academic problems. This is easier said than done – it is difficult to get a child to articulate their vision problems, and it is impossible to see what they see.
Why is it important to take your child early for an eye exam?
It is important to have your child’s eyes examined as soon as possible. According to The American Optometric Association (AOA), “Eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems.” If your child does have a vision problem, it is imperative that it is caught early. Early detection usually means a better response to treatment.
When should my child have their first eye exam?
According to the AOA, children should have their first exam at just 6 months old, when they will get a basic, comprehensive eye exam. Children should then have eye exams at age 3, and before they enter the first grade, which is around ages 5 to 6.
What information should I tell my child’s eye doctor?
Be prepared to answer the following questions from the eye doctor:
History of prematurity?
Family history of delayed motor development?
Family history of eye problems?
Recurring eye rubbing?
Unable to keep eye contact?
Inadequate tracking skills?
Resources on Preparing for Your Child’s Eye Exam
- All About Eyes: Eye Exams for Children
- Bausch + Lomb: Your Child’s Eye Exam
- Children’s Vision Coalition: Preparing Your Child for an Eye Exam
- Cincinnati Children’s: Your Child’s Eye Exam