When Should I Bring My Child In for an Eye Exam?

According to experts, 80 percent of what a child learns is information presented visually. Thus, it is important to detect vision problems early to ensure your child’s success in and out of the classroom. 


As a parent, you want to get your child off to a good start. Ensuring that your little one has healthy eyes is one way to do so. You might be wondering when to take your child for an eye exam. After all, toddlers and babies cannot read the eye chart.




When Do Kids Need Eye Exams?



It is best to start early because some eye problems can affect a child’s vision for life. Early detection and treatment of a minor eye problem can prevent it from becoming a major issue. Pediatric eye exams are about preventative eye care. 


A pediatric eye doctor can perform a comprehensive eye exam on a six-month-old child. Even if your child lacks any evident eye condition, another eye exam is necessary before kindergarten. Eye exams are more important in kids who have a parent or sibling with a serious eye problem, such as lazy eye or turned/crossed eyes. 


According to the American Optometric Association, you should take your child for a comprehensive eye exam at about six months old. The next examination should be at age three. If their eyes are healthy and everything looks good, the next eye exam should be around when your little one starts first grade. 




How Often Should Children Have Eye Exams?



If your child does not need corrective eyewear, you should take them for eye exams every two years. However, if your child needs contact lenses or eyeglasses, yearly eye exams become necessary. Your eye doctor may even recommend more frequent exams if your child is at risk of developing certain eye problems.




Why Eye Exams Are Important for Kids



Vision disorders are more common in kids than most people realize. According to researchers, up to 25 percent of school-age kids and 10 percent of preschoolers have vision problems. Some of these disorders can affect a child’s learning.


Unfortunately, many of these vision disorders do not have obvious symptoms. Some are undetectable in vision screenings done in school. A routine comprehensive eye exam is the only way to determine whether kids have the visual skills they need. 




Early Eye Exams May Prevent Serious Problems



Undiagnosed eye abnormalities can eventually lead to vision loss. When caught early, however, it is possible to reverse some of these conditions. A good example — and one of the most common vision conditions in kids — is lazy eye. Children with this eye abnormality have one eye that is significantly weaker than the other. Fortunately, this condition usually responds well to treatment. 


To ensure that your little one has the best eye care, do not hesitate to consult an eye doctor if you have questions or concerns about your child’s vision. You also need to trust your instincts. After all, no one knows your child better than you.




To know the best time to take your child for an eye exam, visit Five Forks Vision at our office in Simpsonville, South Carolina. You can call (864) 392-8200 today to schedule an appointment.

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