When Is It Time To Get Children’s Eyes Tested?
With September just around the corner, now is a great time for parents to book back to school eye exams for their children. The link between eye health and learning is very critical but most parents are unsure of when to get their children’s eyes tested.
Children who can’t see the board or can’t focus on the words or pictures in a book will struggle to keep up with the rest of their class and may not reach their full potential. Vision has a huge impact on hand-eye coordination and can even affect social development. Did you know that 80% of learning comes through vision?
At Unionville Optometry we always recommend back to school eye exams as a precaution.
AT WHAT AGE DO YOU START EYE EXAMS?
According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) the frequency of eye exams for children is as follows:
|For Infants and Toddlers (Birth to 24 Months)||Have an eye exam between the ages of 6 and 9 months.|
|Preschool Children (2 to 5 years)||Have at least one eye exam between the ages of 2 and 5.|
|School Age Children (6 to 19 years)||Annual eye exams are recommended.|
Please keep in mind that these are the minimum recommended frequency of eye exams for those at low risk. Your children’s optometrist will be better able to recommend how frequently to have your children’s eyes examined.
WARNING SIGNS A CHILD MAY NEED AN EYE EXAM
The Canadian Association of Optometrists reports that up to 1 in 4 kids have a vision problem. Vision changes can occur without your child or yourself even noticing it, especially if you don’t know what to watch for.
Here are several warning signs your child may need glasses or warrant the attention of a children’s optometrist. If your child:
- Tilts his/her head
- Covers one eye to read or watch TV
- Displays sensitivity to light
- Complains of frequent headaches
- Rubs eyes frequently
- Uses their finger to maintain their place while reading
- Holds reading material closer than normal
- Makes reversals when reading or writing
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A CHILD EYE EXAM?
At the child eye exam your children’s eye doctor will review your child’s health and vision history, and perform an overall eye health exam.
Various tests are performed to determine signs of:
- Lazy Eye
- Eye Coordination
- Color Perception
- Depth Perception
- Ability to focus
Depending on the results of the assessment your child’s optometrist may prescribe glasses, contact lenses (depending on child’s age), or possibly vision therapy.
Your children’s optometrist may also recommend various preventative measures to help with your child’s eyesight, such as wearing glasses while doing schoolwork or watching TV.
Vision therapy and preventative measures can help reinforce or reteach vision in young children, and even improve conditions such as lazy eye, perceptual problems, and eye coordination.
BOOK A CHILD EYE EXAM BEFORE THEY GO BACK TO SCHOOL
It’s a good idea to book your child’s eye exam now, before you get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of getting back into your regular routine of school, afterschool lessons, sports, and more.
Contact our children’s optometrist at Unionville Optometry in Markham Ontario or call us anytime at 1-905-477-4488 to book a back to school eye exam for your child.