When is the last time you took your child in for an eye exam? Depending on your child’s age and vision, it may be time for their next vision test!
What are the different types of eye exams for children?
Here are some of the different ways your child may get an eye exam:
- School vision test – If your child is in school, they have probably taken a quick eye test at school with a basic vision chart. An eye chart measures your child’s visual acuity, or how clearly they can see objects from far away.
- Comprehensive eye exam – An eye chart is a good start, but children also need regular comprehensive eye exams with an ophthalmologist who can test other aspects of eye health. In this exam, the ophthalmologist will test things like your child’s pupils, peripheral vision, eye pressure, and more.
- EyeQue Insight- This digital eye test works with your smartphone to make regular vision checks easy and fun for your kids with a vision game. You can check your child’s visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, screen for color blindness, and monitor vision changes as frequently as you like from home.
How often do children need an eye exam?
The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus recommends children have vision screenings at the following age milestones:
- Newborn — When you go in for your first family doctor or pediatrician’s appointment, your baby should have their eyes examined. If the baby was born prematurely or is facing other health issues, they should have a comprehensive eye exam.
- Between 6 months and 1 year— A second screening for eye health should be done by an ophthalmologist, pediatrician, family doctor or another trained health professional at a well-child exam between six months and the first birthday.
- Between 3 and 3 1/2 years — Visual acuity should be tested as soon as the child is old enough to cooperate with an eye exam using an eye chart. A doctor can photo screen your child if your child can’t use an eye exam chart.
- School-age — When your child enters school, they should have their visual acuity and alignment tested. Throughout school, most children will have their acuity checked with an eye chart.
During each of these milestones, if an alignment issue or other eye health problem is uncovered, your child should have a comprehensive eye exam performed by an eye doctor. Your child should also see an eye doctor for more frequent comprehensive eye exams if they have a family history of eye health or vision disorders.