Vision problems and eye diseases in children may not be obvious and babies certainly cannot tell us! Even school age children will not have the experience or vocabulary to understand that they cannot see correctly. Parents can watch for warning signs at home and contact an eye care professional or their family doctor if they suspect a problem. Early diagnosis is key and vision problems can often be corrected.
What age should a child have an eye test?
At 6 months old, babies should have their first comprehensive eye exam. After that another exam at 3 years and then when your child starts school. School-aged children should have an eye exam at least every two years. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually.
Be sure to make your eye doctor aware of any family history. Macular degeneration is a genetic eye disease affecting children, who may complain of blurry vision.
How can I test my child’s eyes at home?
Parents can test a child’s eyesight at home.
Babies who are older than 3 months should be able to track or follow an object. This is the most common vision acuity test in infants. If your baby can’t make steady eye contact or seems unable to see, let your child’s doctor know.
Other signs to watch out for include:
- Eyes that are misaligned
- Eyes that flutter quickly from side to side or up and down
- Eye pain, itchiness, or discomfort
- Pus or crust
- Watery eyes
- Drooping eyelids
- constant eye rubbing
- extreme light sensitivity
- abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
- chronic redness
- a white pupil instead of black
How do you test a toddler’s vision?
Eye tests used specifically for young children include:
LEA symbols are similar to regular eye tests using charts with letters, except that special symbols are used for young children who cannot yet read;
Retinoscopy: involves shining a light to observe the reflection from the back of the eye (retina);
Random dot stereopsis testing measures how well your child’s eyes work together.
A common vision problems of schoolchildren include “lazy eye” or amblyopia, which is decreased vision in one or both eyes and may have no warning signs.
What causes a child to lose balance?
Our sense of balance is a complex process. It’s managed by signals between the brain, ears, eyes, and sensors in the joints and other body parts.
If you notice your child having difficulty with motor skills, or having poor eye-hand coordination, vision screening could be beneficial.
How much screen time should a 5 year old have?
Young children are increasingly having more screen time which can affect their eyesight. Problems can include: eye fatigue, dry and irritated eyes and loss of focus flexibility. Limit screen time as much as possible, particularly for children under the age of 6.
How do I know if my 5 year old needs glasses?
For school aged children learning-related vision problems can arise. Eye exams remain important to ensure that vision problems do not interfere with school performance.
Signs that your 5 year old may need glasses could include:
- Squinting or frequent headaches
- being unable to see objects at a distance
- having trouble reading the blackboard
- difficulty reading
- sitting too close to the TV
Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of children’s development. Visit 3 For 1 Glasses in Hamilton today to browse our extensive collection of children’s frames. With 20 years of experience, we have come to realize that one pair of glasses is just not enough – that is why we offer three glasses for the price of one! Make eye checks a routine part of your child’s medical care. Contact 3 For 1 Glasses Hamilton to book your child’s eye exam today!