It has been reported that 1 in 10 preschool aged children have vision problems, and the number goes up to 1 in 4 in grade school aged kids. Vision problems affect learning, so you want to gauge how your child reacts with visual stimuli and catch any problems as early as possible. Squinting may be one indication, but often children’s vision problems go unreported. It is not uncommon to only find out that a child needs visual aid once they have started school and need to be able to see the board at the front of the classroom.
Start routine eye examinations early, and keep focus on maintaining them regularly throughout your child’s school years. This will keep their eyes healthy and create a routine for a lifetime of ocular health.
When should the first exam happen?
It is difficult to predict as every child is different, but the usual recommendation is around 6 months, as long as there are no noticeable signs of something that needs attention earlier than that. During the exam, your child’s optometrist will check primarily for visual acuity. If there are any potential issues, your optometrist may opt for a more comprehensive exam of the child’s eyes.
How often should children’s eye exams occur?
If your child’s initial eye exam at 6 months shows no concerns, you can safely wait until age 3 for their next comprehensive eye exam. Make sure you communicate with your child’s eye care professional when your child’s last eye exam was, the extent of that exam, and any other questions or concerns you may have. If your child has had problems with ear or eye infections, it is also beneficial to discuss this with their eye doctor.
After the 3-year-old mark, another eye exam upon entering kindergarten is recommended. Then routine exams every 1-2 years thereafter.
If your child needs to have their vision corrected with prescription eyeglasses, yearly eye exams are recommended to closely monitor any changes in their prescription. You should also schedule an appointment any time your child expresses discomfort, or has noticeable eye issues; like pain, color changes, or unusual discharge.
Why are children’s eye exams so important?
Your child’s eye exams are important because they help gauge the overall eye health of your child. It is important to pay attention to your child’s visual acuity from a young age, to ensure proper development. Catching this early will allow treatment to prevent any developmental issues.
Once your kid starts school, keep in mind that learning requires good vision and if your child is having problems seeing, they will struggle in class as most of what a child learns up to middle school includes visual representation.
If your child needs prescription glasses, you might want to consider adding blue light coating to their lenses as children stay in front of screens more than ever these days. UV protection may also be a consideration at an early age to protect your child’s vision in perpetuity.
At CustomEyes, we have 8 Chicagoland locations for your convenience. Reach out to us to book an eye exam for your child, and since you’re coming in, yourself as well! Schedule your appointment today!
Book an Appointment Today and Find a Pair of Glasses You'll Love!
We have eight locations across Chicago, so no matter where you are a CustomEyes is nearby!