When To Take Your Child To The Eye Doctor

As the parent of a young child, you may already be taking the little one to regular visits with a pediatrician. Although the child may only receive preventive care during these visits, you are likely aware that each visit gives the practitioner a chance to assess your youngster's health and address any problems that may arise.

In addition to regular pediatric visits, children should visit an eye doctor to have their eyesight and eye health assessed.

Here is a bit of information about pediatric eye exams to help you understand when they should occur.

When Should a Child Receive Their First Routine Eye Exam?

Many eye care professionals suggest that a child receive their first eye examination by the time they reach one year of age. In addition, the exam should be repeated before a child starts kindergarten, even if the child has no apparent eye issues.  

Many children receive their first eye exam from their pediatrician. Pediatricians examine the eyes of infants immediately following their birth. In addition, they examine the eyes of their young patients during the children's first few years. However, these examinations are limited and generally look for abnormal conditions, such as an unusual pupillary response to light or crossed eyes.

If the pediatrician suspects that a child does have an eye problem, they are likely to refer the youngster to an eye specialist. Additionally, the pediatrician may assess the child's eyes more regularly if the child has family members who suffer from eye conditions.

What Are Some Indications That You Need to Take Your Child to See an Eye Doctor?

Kids sometimes present symptoms that indicate there may be a problem with their eyes. Here are a few signs that your child may need to see an eye doctor:

  • Headaches. Children sometimes complain that their head is hurting when they are straining to see.
  • Squinting. When a child squints regularly, they are likely having trouble seeing. The squinting is frequently an attempt to self-correct the blurry vision.
  • Tilted head. Some children tilt their heads to help correct vision issues from crossed eyes.
  • Following with their fingers while reading. Parents may consider it normal for a child to follow the words on a page with their fingers, especially if they are just learning to read. However, this action could be an indication that the child is suffering from double vision.

When symptoms arise, it is best to have them professionally evaluated.

To schedule an eye examination for your child, contact a pediatric eye care office in your local area.