Eye Exams for Children
As a parent, you may wonder whether your preschooler has a vision problem or when you should schedule your child’s first eye exam.
Eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 -10 % of preschoolers and 25 % of school-aged children have vision problems. Early identification of a child’s vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early.
Infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.
For school-aged children, an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is recommended. Children who need eyeglasses should be examined annually or as recommended by their ophthalmologist.
Early eye exams are crucial to make sure children have normal, healthy vision so they can perform better at schoolwork or play.
Early eye exams also are important because children need the following basic skills related to good eyesight for learning:
- Near vision
- Distance vision
- Binocular (two eyes)
- Eye movement skills
- Focusing skills
- Peripheral awareness
- Hand-eye coordination