Your Child's First Eye Exam

Every parent wants their child to be happy and healthy, and part of that is ensuring their visual system functions properly.

Infants:

  • At birth, your baby can see blurred patterns of light and dark.
  • First 4 months, your child’s vision becomes clearer, colour vision begins to develop, and their two eyes start to work together.
  • 6 months old, your baby will acquire eye movement control and develop eye-hand coordination skills.

Babies are recommended to have their first eye examination between 6-9 months of age to ensure their eyes are healthy, eye and muscle movements and alignment are developing properly, and the eyes are focusing together. A number of serious eye conditions exist that can be identified during the first eye exam. If left uncorrected, these conditions can result in serious vision problems.

Crossed eyes, or strabismus, usually starts in infancy and needs to be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, prisms and/or vision therapy as early as possible. If left untreated, the ignored eye will become unable to function normally and may result in the development of amblyopia (lazy eye). If detected and treated at an early age, amblyopia will often resolve completely with eyeglasses, patching or vision therapy.  But untreated, amblyopia can lead to low vision in the affected eye.

Toddlers and Preschoolers:

  • Depth perception, eye-hand coordination and visualization skills continue to develop.

It is recommended that your child have at least one eye exam between the ages of 2-5 and yearly after starting school.

Symptoms that indicate your child may have a visual problem:

  • Red, itchy or watering eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • An eye that turns in or out
  • Squinting, rubbing the eyes, or excessive blinking
  • A lack of concentration
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • Holding objects very close to the face
  • Avoiding books and TV
  • Visible frustration or grimacing
  • Tilting the head or unusual posture