Children’s Health: When Should You Have Your Children’s Eyes Checked?

Children's Health: When Should You Have Your Children's Eyes Checked?

Your child’s vision will have a major impact on almost every aspect of their life. Not only will it affect their grades and mental development, but it can also change their social habits and behaviors. Scheduling regular eye appointments with their optometrist is the best way to protect their vision and eyes.

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The First Appointment

Your child should have their first appointment with an eye care professional, like those at All About Eyes, well before they are able to speak. As a general rule, most specialists suggest that babies have their first eye exam at six months. During this exam, the optometrist can check for a number of basic visual skills such as how well they can focus on objects at various distances.

Eye Rubbing

It is perfectly normal for a child to rub their eyes when they are getting ready for bed or just waking up, but they shouldn’t be touching their eyes throughout the day. Rubbing the eyes or temples is a subconscious reaction when we are not able to focus on an object or our eyes are irritated. While this is not necessarily a sign that they are having vision problems, it is always better to err on the side of caution and schedule an exam.

Sitting Too Close to Screens and Books

We now know that sitting too close to the television is not bad for the eyes, but it is a very common side effect of vision problems. When children are learning to read or use electronics, they often hold the objects very close to their faces. They might also tilt their head or close one eye when they are trying to focus on something in front of them. All of these unusual habits could be the result of nearsightedness.

Ongoing Appointments

Regular eye exams are extremely important for growing children. Catching minor vision issues early might allow them to avoid a wide variety of problems in the future. Most younger children should have a full eye exam once every other year. Those who have been diagnosed with chronic conditions such as astigmatisms might need to have their vision checked as often as once a year. After your child’s first appointment, your doctor will give you more information regarding how often you should schedule their exams.

Younger children generally have a difficult time explaining to their parents that something is wrong with their eyes. That is why parents should constantly be on the lookout for any signs that their child might need an appointment with an eye care professional.

When Should You Have Your Children's Eyes Checked?

Emma is a freelance writer based out of Boston, MA. She writes most often on health and education. When not writing, she enjoys reading and watching film noir. She suggested finding a professional lifestyle family photographer for photos you can display in your home. Say hi on Twitter @EmmaSturgis2