Why Are Eye Exams Important for Children?
To give your child the best start at developing strong and healthy eyes, the Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends following the following exam schedule for children based on their age and visual milestones.
Infants & Toddlers (Birth to 2 Years)
Your baby’s eyes develop rapidly during their first 6 months, so it is recommended that children undergo their first eye exam between 6 and 9 months.
Your child acquires eye movement control and hand-eye coordination skills at this age. An eye exam can help uncover common childhood conditions that appear at this stage, like strabismus and amblyopia.
Preschoolers (2 to 5 Years)
Children should undergo their next eye exam shortly before entering school, between 2 and 5.
These ages are critical developmental years where your child will continue to improve their hand-eye coordination and gain depth perception. An eye exam can help discover potential vision problems or eye diseases that require treatment and management before your child enters school.
School-Age Children (6 to 19 Years)
Once children enter school, they will require annual eye exams to monitor their eyes for vision changes that could impact their ability to learn. Your child will heavily rely on their eyes during these years, from school to play to extracurricular activities.
Children depend on several important visual skills to help them learn and interact with the world around them. If any of these skills are impaired, your child’s learning and development may be detrimentally impacted.
Undiagnosed and uncorrected vision problems can lead to physical and mental impairments. Children may experience frequent headaches, fatigue, or have difficulty staying focused in school or struggle to keep up with their peers.