Eye exams are crucial to a child’s development. If any vision problems go undetected in your child, her ability to learn at school can be severely interrupted. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that everyone have an eye exam about every one to three years, but the recommended ages that children should see an eye doctor are a little different.
WHEN TO TAKE YOUR INFANT TO THE EYE DOCTOR
Your child’s first eye exam should be scheduled when she is six months old. Her vision won’t be completely developed until she’s around one, but an eye doctor will be able to detect eye conditions that might require further attention, such as nystagmus and strabismus. Infants may need to see an eye doctor before six months if they are born with certain risk factors, including:
- Low birth weight or born premature
- Crossed or turned eyes
- Delays in development
- History of eye disease in the family
- Other illness or disease
WHEN TO TAKE YOUR TODDLER TO THE EYE DOCTOR
The AOA recommends that your child sees the eye doctor when she’s three years old and then again before attending preschool or kindergarten. If your eye doctor determines that your child needs corrective lenses, then she’ll need an eye exam every year from then on out.
WHEN TO TAKE SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN TO THE DOCTOR
Many schools provide a vision screening to their students, but these don’t always catch vision problems. If your child doesn’t have any vision problems, she still should receive a comprehensive eye exam every two to three years. Since your child might experience problems with her vision without even realizing it, watch for these warning signs:
- Squinting and turning her head
- Complaining about headaches
- A sudden drop in performance at school
- Wanting to sit too close to the TV
- Sensitivity to light
- A slight to pronounced turn in the eye
- Tendency toward motion sickness (especially in cars)
- Lack of depth perception
SCHEDULE AN EYE EXAM IN DALLAS
Only a qualified optometrist can prescribe corrective lenses for your child or diagnose problems with her vision. Help your child to enjoy a lifetime of healthy eyesight by scheduling an eye exam in Dallas today!