When Should My Child First See an Eye Doctor?

All parents want their little ones to have good vision and healthy eyes. Ensuring kids receive the proper eye care at a young age is crucial. But how do you decide when to take your kid to the pediatric eye doctor? 



Why Is Children’s Eye Care Important?


Eye care for children is vital for many reasons. First, good vision is essential for their learning and development. The ability to see properly is a prerequisite for many basic academic abilities, including reading, writing, and sports. 


Second, early detection and treatment of eye problems can prevent more severe complications in the future. If left untreated, specific eye problems, such as crossed or lazy eyes, might result in permanent visual loss. 


Third, regular eye exams can help your child maintain good eye health and hygiene. The eye doctor can check for signs of infections, injuries, or allergies that may affect your youngster’s eyes.



How Soon Should Your Child Visit an Eye Doctor?


The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that children receive their first thorough eye examination at six months of age. This exam can help detect any vision or eye health problems affecting your child’s development. The eye doctor can also advise you on how to protect and care for your child’s eyes.



How Often Should Your Child See an Eye Doctor?


Your child should get another exam after the initial one at three years and before starting kindergarten or first grade. These exams can help monitor your child’s vision and eye health as they grow and learn. The eye doctor can also prescribe glasses or contact lenses if your child needs them.


After that, your child should have an eye exam every year or as your eye doctor recommends. Children who wear corrective lenses, have specific medical disorders, or have a family history of eye issues may require more frequent tests.



Signs Your Youngster May Need an Eye Exam


Some signs that your little one may need an eye exam include the following:


  • Squinting, rubbing, or closing one eye

  • Tilting or turning their head to see better

  • Holding objects too close or too far from their eyes

  • Complaining of headaches, eye pain, or blurred vision

  • Having trouble reading, writing, or doing homework

  • Avoiding activities that require good eyesight, such as sports or games

  • Showing signs of poor attention, concentration, or behavior


Do not delay booking an eye exam for your child if you see any of these symptoms in them. Your eye doctor will identify and treat any vision or eye health issues impacting your child.



How to Prepare for Your Child


Schedule a consultation with a trained and experienced optometrist specializing in treating young patients’ eyes. Gather any information about your child’s medical history, family history of eye problems, medications, allergies, or symptoms.


Next, bring your child’s glasses or contact lenses if they have them. Explain what to expect during the exam and why it is crucial for their eyes. Finally, encourage them to ask questions and cooperate with the eye doctor.





Your child’s eye exam is a simple and painless procedure that can help ensure their vision and eye health. Regularly taking your child to an eye doctor can help them enjoy a lifetime of clear and healthy vision.


For more on pediatric eye exams, contact Bright Eyes Optometry at our Red Bank, New Jersey office. Call (732) 605-0300 to schedule an appointment today.

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