As your child is growing, being able to see clearly will aid him or her to develop both physically and educationally. Children use their vision for both play and for learning in school. Sometimes, it is difficult to detect that a child is experiencing difficulties seeing. The longer that a visual problem persists, the more at risk the child is for having more permanent vision loss. Pediatric eye exams can help.
It is essential for kids to have annual comprehensive eye exams to screen of any visual challenges or eye disorders before they turn into a bigger problem. With early detection, comes increased chances of better outcomes.
Our Approach to Pediatric Eye Exams
We understand that it can be scary for some children to go to the doctor and that they may be nervous about getting their eyes checked. We offer a caring, family-friendly atmosphere with activities for the kids to help make them feel at ease in our office. Dr. Ramsey also uses children's toys and props during the exam to help test eye movement, eye alignment, and to conduct a thorough ocular health evaluation.
Our office mascot, Waffles the Dog, is also available to come greet and hang out with our pediatric patients. Waffles the Dog is a 5-pound poodle who loves everyone who gives her any kind of attention. She is a non-shedding, hypoallergenic bundle of doggie joy. Per request, Waffles the Dog is also available to help provide courage to patients by sitting on their laps during the exam.
At what age should my child have their first eye exam?
At EyeCare for you, we advise for children to have their first pediatric eye exam at 6 months if there are no known risk factors for visual impairment and again at age 3 if there are no visual issues. If there are known risk factors, such as an eye turn or family history of lazy eye, it is recommended to have an exam and by 6 months or as recommended by your primary care provider for any child that is at risk. This is in line with the recommendations by the American Optometric Association.
Childhood Risk Factors for Visual Impairment
The following is a list of risk factors to consider when scheduling your child’s pediatric eye exams:
- Premature birth and low birth weight
- Family history of eye diseases (i.e. retinoblastoma, congenital cataracts)
- Family history of metabolic disorders (i.e. diabetes, thyroid problems)
- Infection during pregnancy for the mother (i.e. toxoplasmosis, venereal disease)
- Difficult labor/low Apgar score
- “Crossed eye” (Strabismus) or “lazy eye” (Amblyopia)
- Neurological disorders (i.e. cerebral palsy, seizures)
To learn more about risk factors of visual impairment for children, please visit the American Optometric Association's website.
How often should my child have their eyes examined?
This is a question we have heard many times from concerned parents. As each child has different visual needs, we provide customized recommendations on exam frequency after the first visit.
For some general guidelines, we recommend the following pediatric eye exam schedule (again, this is based off the recommendations by the American Optometric Association):
|1st Eye Exam||At 6 months||By 6 months or as recommended|
|2nd Eye Exam||At 3 years||At 3 years or as recommended|
|3rd Eye Exam||Before starting school||Before starting school or as recommended|
|Rest of Childhood
(up to 18 years old)
|Every two years||Annually or as recommended|
Pediatric Prescription Glasses
At Eyecare for You, we offer a wide variety of children's eyewear including activewear for sports. All of our pediatric glasses are made with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses for your child’s safety. We offer competitively priced children's glasses packages starting at $129 for a complete pair. This includes our two-year warranty on both the lenses and frames that covers one complete replacement of the lenses and frame at no charge (please note that this does not include theft/loss replacement). Just bring in the old frame and/or lenses and we’ve got you covered.