Pediatric Eye Exams – When Kids Should See an Optometrist
904-379-5450

Pediatric Eye Exams – When Kids Should See an Optometrist

March 22nd, 2018
Pediatric eye exams jacksonville

Pediatric eye exams are crucial in healthy vision lifelong because children are the most responsive age group to treatments used to correct vision.

 

The AOA (American Optometry Association) says that your child should have their eyes checked by an Optometrist by the age of 6 months. This may seem too early to most parents, but it is essential for your infant’s development of healthy vision!

 

During the ages of 5 to 8 months infants begin to control their own eye movements and start to coordinate these movements with their body. Depth perception begins to develop by 5 months of age, this is essential as babies begin to learn to crawl around 8 months of age.

 

It is also essential to have your child’s eyes examined by a kids optometrist prior to entering school, the AOA sites that:

 

Children with uncorrected vision conditions or eye health problems face many barriers in life, academically, socially and athletically.” (https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/childrens-vision)

 

Following the recommended check-up times by your optometrist are a great way to make sure that your child succeeds!

 

Why are Pediatric Eye Exams Important?

Pediatric eye exams are important in developing basic learning and comprehension skills, seeing clearly is an easy way to ensure your child has the necessary tools to grow and learn!

 

Children’s eye exams help to determine:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Coordination of the eyes
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral vision
  • Hand-eye coordination
children eye exams

 

Visual conditions such as amblyopia (or lazy eye) or crossed-eyes (strabismus) often present in children when they reach toddler age while their brain is still developing. Lazy eye can often develop because of strabismuslazy eye is a lack of clear vision in one eye.

 

Amblyopia can be treated when your optometrist is able to determine its cause; lazy eye caused by refractive errors can be treated with glasses and patching the affected eye. This trains the brain to focus the image of the “lazy eye“.

 

It is important that glasses prescribed for correcting amblyopia or any refractive error have polycarbonate, shatter-resistant and scratch resistant lenses to protect your child’s eyes. Polycarbonate lenses at 10 times more impact resistant than plastic or glass lenses and provide 100% UV protection against the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays.

 

How often should kids visit an Eye Doctor?

Your child’s first eye exam should be completed by 6 months, then again at 3 years prior to entering pre-school to catch any refractive errors that could interfere with learning.

 

Once they reach school-age they require annual visits to their eye doctor, this is to ensure they are seeing clearly and do not require a prescription for eyeglasses or some other treatment schedule.

 

Depending on family history and your child’s case a different check-up schedule may be recommended by your kids optometrist to recheck vision as your child grows and develops.

 

9 Signs your child should see an Optometrist:

Even if you as a parent already wear glasses, it can be hard to determine any early warning signs your child may need to visit the eye doctor.

 

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Squinting
  • Sitting close to TV or holding items too close
  • Rubbing of eyes (when not tired)
  • Tilting of the head to see better
  • Light sensitivity
  • Closing of one eye
  • Tearing or watery eyes
  • Avoiding near work
  • Complaints of Headaches
kids eye exams

 

How to keep your Child’s Eyes Healthy:

1. Visit an optometrist at 6 months of age, returning as prescribed by the eye doctor or at 3 years of age prior to entering pre-school, then annually after that catching any refractive errors early are the best way to correct them and give your child their best visual health for the future

 

2. Completing annual comprehensive eye exams when your child reaches school-age, As your child grows and develops it is important to ensure they are seeing clearly so they are learning as much as they can!

 

3. Follow your eye doctor’s treatment plan for your child, Fill your child’s prescription for eyeglasses, follow any schedules for use of corrective tools such as eye-patches and complete any follow-ups as scheduled

 

4. Schedule your child’s eye exam for the following year in advance, It’s easy to forget when it’s time to come back, pre-book or pre-appoint the whole family’s eye exams while your still in office, that way you receive a reminder in a year and don’t have to stress about booking last minute appointments!

 

Even if your child is seeing an optometrist annually vision changes can still happen! Onset of squinting or headaches could mean your child needs to have an updated eye exam and it’s time to visit your eye doctor for an updated or new prescription.

 

The best way to ensure your child’s vision system is healthy is to start having their eyes checked early and on an annual basis to catch any changes.

 

Book a comprehensive eye exam for your child today, our doctors of optometry complete pediatric eye exams and treatment plans to help your child succeed! We are optometrists in Jacksonville, Florida providing comprehensive eye exams and vision care for the whole family.

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