Just like adults, children need to get their eyes checked. Research shows that about 25 percent of preschoolers have vision related problems.
The American Optometric Association suggests that infants receive their first eye examination at around six months old. After that, children should receive an eye exam at about three years old and again at around five or six, right before they enter kindergarten.
Once these initial examinations take place, a child who does not have eye related problems should visit his or her eye doctor every two years. However, children who do have some type of vision problem should schedule an appointment annually.
Why Early Examinations Are Important
Every child needs their basic visual skills for learning. As many of us know, learning is tough when you have to squint or move closer in order to read the chalkboard.
A visit to your eye doctor should help identify issues with the following:
- Near vision
- Distance vision
- Eye teaming (binocularity) skills
- Eye movement skills
- Focusing skills
- Peripheral awareness
- Eye/hand coordination
The above are key to learning in a classroom environment. That’s why some states require children to get an eye examination before they enter school for the first time.
Scheduling the Appointment
When it’s time to make your appointment try to book the appointment when your child is awake and happy. The eye examination will vary depending on your child’s age, but it’s important to have them focused and in good spirits during the examination.
The exam generally goes through vision history, vision testing (to see if they need eyeglasses), and eye alignment. You can use our Find a Doctor tool to find a Vision Source optometrist near you.