Your baby is not born with perfect eyesight. Just like walking or talking, they learn how to use their eyes as they grow.

As your child grows, they will depend more and more on their eyes. From playing with friends and participating in sports to learning to read and write, your child’s eyes are intricately linked to their overall development.

Since learning is 80% visual, it is important that your child’s eyes are strong and healthy. You can help them by bringing them for routine eye exams at Advanced Eye Physician. Your child’s optometrist checks that your child is hitting their visual milestones, assesses their overall ocular health, and checks for signs of eye diseases and childhood eye conditions.

When To Have Your Child’s Eyes Examined

To ensure your child’s eyes are checked regularly, we recommend following the exam frequency developed by the American Optometric Association (AOA). The AOA suggests children have their eyes checked every year after they’re 5 years old in accordance with their visual milestones and when they are at the greatest risk of developing a vision problem.

Preschool Children (2 to 5 Years)

These years are critical developmental years for your child. They will fine-tune their visual skills learned as a baby and develop new ones integral for school. However, these are also years where your child is at risk of developing vision problems like a lazy eye or crossed eyes. Therefore, your child should undergo a complete eye examination between 3 and 5 years old.

At Advanced Eye Physician, we see children 4 years and older. 

Some developmental delays may also indicate a vision problem. If your child has difficulty recognizing colors, shapes, letters, and numbers, please book them for an eye exam as soon as possible. The visual advancements your preschool child makes during these years will set them up for success when they enter school.

Nearly 10% of preschool children have a vision problem. But, they are unlikely to voice a complaint because they are likely unaware they see differently than others. Parents can help their child by watching for the following signs of a vision problem:

  • Sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close.
  • Squinting.
  • Tilting their head.
  • Covering an eye.
  • Frequently rubbing their eyes.
  • Short attention span for their age.
  • Turning of an eye in or out.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination.
  • Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles, and other detailed activities.

School-Age Children (6 to 18)

When your child enters school, their eyes will be continually tasked with increasingly difficult tasks. Reading, writing, chalkboard work, computer work, play, and sports will challenge your child’s eyes daily.

To succeed in all they do, your child will need strong eyesight and well-developed visual skills. Annual eye exams with an optometrist is essential to ensure your child’s eyes and skills are up for the challenge of school and extracurricular activities.

If your school-age child has an undiagnosed vision problem, they may find learning and school more stressful, may experience headaches or fatigue and will have to work harder to learn as effectively as their peers.

Parents and teachers can help their children and students by watching for signs of a vision problem:

  • Complaints of discomfort and fatigue.
  • Frequent eye rubbing or blinking.
  • Short attention span.
  • Avoiding reading and other close work.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Covering one eye.
  • Tilting their head to one side.
  • Holding reading materials too close to their face.
  • Turning of an eye in or out.
  • Seeing double.
  • Losing place when reading.
  • Difficulty remembering what was read.

Give Your Child the Gift of Healthy, Happy Eyes

At Advanced Eye Physician, we provide thorough pediatric eye exams for children from 4 to 18. Our exams are designed to ensure their eyes develop as expected and remain happy and healthy for many years.

We examine the internal and external structure and function of your child’s eyes using advanced, non-invasive diagnostic tools that allow us to see the eye in high definition. These high-tech tools give us the ability to detect even the smallest signs of vision problems that require attention. Many childhood eye conditions respond well to early treatment, ensuring your child’s eyes will not hold them back.

Our friendly optometric staff focuses on building trust-based relationships with our youngest patients to develop life-long, eye-friendly habits to last them until their gold years.

If you have questions about your child’s eyesight, their developmental milestones, or childhood eye diseases, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here to help your child achieve life-long, healthy vision. Please book them for an eye exam today!