Ever wonder when your child should have their first eye exam?
Many parents mistakenly assume it should be at 5-6 yrs old or when they fail a school screening or when they start complaining. Much of this is due to parents being familiar with their own eye exams where most testing results are based their own subjective responses, hence coming to the conclusion that their child will not give reliable results. In reality, the most crucial years in the development of one’s eyes are the first 6 years of life and most testing for these young children are objective, meaning they don’t require any feedback from the child at all.
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) and the American Optometric Association (AOA), your child’s first eye examination should be at 6 months. If no problems are found, then children should have their next exams at 3 years old and right before they start grade 1 (~5-6 years old).
Early detection of vision problems are critical as treatments are far more effective the younger the patient. Undetected/untreated vision problems such as amblyopia (often referred to as ‘lazy eye’) typically see marginal to no improvement with treatment during adulthood. Once children start school, they should be monitored annually or as specified by your optometrist or ophthalmologist.