When should my kids get their eyes examined?
I recently read an article, “How I Failed My Daughter”, written by a mother reflecting back on when she should have had her daughter’s eyes examined. In summary, the mother explains that she realized that her daughter’s vision, although poor, was normal for her. A child does not know if they are not seeing well, because that is all they have ever known. “When should I bring my child in for an eye exam?”, this has been a common question I have been asked recently since several of my friends are new parents. Here are the guidelines set forth by the American Optometric Association.
INFANT (6-12 Months) – Within the first 12 months a baby should receive their first eye exam. At Accurate Vision Clinic we participate in the InfantSEE progam. We offer this service free of charge because we believe vision to be an important part of your child’s well being and development. During this exam the doctor will look for large amounts of near/far sightedness and astigmatism, lazy eye, and assess ocular health.
PRESCHOOL (2-5 years) – By age 3 your child should have had a comprehensive eye examination, which is much more in depth than a vision screening at school or a pediatrician’s office. At this age, our goal is to identify any visual or eye problems that may interfere with development and learning.
SCHOOL-AGED (6-18 years) – Since over 80% of a child’s learning is visual, good vision is essential to success in school. Your child should have an eye exam every two years, more frequently if certain risk factors are present or recommended by your optometrist.
Here is a list of signs that your child needs to have an eye exam.
- Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
- Short attention span
- Avoiding reading and other close activities
- Frequent headaches
- Covering one eye
- Tilting the head to one side
- Holding reading materials close to the face
- An eye turning in or out
- Seeing double
- Losing place when reading
- Difficulty remembering what he or she read