Children's First Eye Test Image

Children’s First Eye Test – How Young Is Too Young?

It’s that time of year again, leaves are falling, and pumpkin spice lattes are finally available. As a parent, you might be packing lunches or sending your little ones off to school for the first time. Or, you could be staying home with your baby as a new parent. No matter what age your child is, fall is the perfect time for a routine eye exam. You may be thinking, “my baby is too young to need that yet.” But, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. So, now you may be asking, “Well, when should my baby have their first eye test?” Let’s go over all the facts to help clear that up.

Children’s eyes develop rapidly. They’re constantly changing and adjusting to the world around them. As they change, it’s not uncommon for issues to arise. By taking them for annual eye exams, you can stay on top of their eye health. The same goes for babies and toddlers; they need regular eye exams. But, when do you take them for their very first exam?

Pediatric ophthalmologists agree that children should have their first exam before they turn one. Then, annually until kindergarten. Even if no issues are detected, these annual exams are important. In the time between each exam, lots can change. Early detection of vision problems allows the issue to be corrected by the time they enter school, ideally. Some of the conditions that youngsters can have are lazy eye syndrome and crossed eyes. If a parent had similar problems as a child or now as an adult, their child’s risk is higher.

Children's First Eye Test Image

Once your child enters school, they need an exam every two years if they’ve had no vision problems. If they have had vision problems, maintain an annual exam routine. It’s important for parents not to rely on teachers or the school to tell them if their child has a vision problem. Even pediatric doctors don’t have the training to provide adequate exams. You need to take them to a licensed ophthalmologist who is trained in children’s eye development.

What If My Child Has Vision Problems?

Your ophthalmologist may detect an issue in your child’s eyes. Sometimes, it could be a refractive error that affects their ability to see. If they struggle to see things in the distance, it’s called myopia. The eye doctor may recommend wearing corrective lenses, glasses, or doing at-home eye exercises. As mentioned above, children’s eyes change fast. This can make their prescription change often which means they need new eye wear often. Without adequate coverage, this can get expensive. Prevention and early detection are the keys to strong childhood vision.

Don’t Rely on School for Children’s Fist Eye Test

Most schools will have a nurse in-house who might perform vision screenings on the students. Keep in mind that a vision screening performed by your pediatrician or the school nurse is not a complete eye exam. These screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem. But, they should not take the place of a visit to an eye care professional.

Here are some signs you can watch for at home that may point to vision problems. Does your child…

  • Routinely sit too close to the television?
  • Often rub their eyes while reading or watching television?
  • Complain of headaches after reading?
  • Complain about not being able to see the words in a book clearly?
  • Hold books and papers at an arms-reach to read them?

If you answered yes to any of these, it could mean that your child is having trouble with their vision. Take them in for an eye exam. When children are very young, they can’t explain to you what problems they are having. If the vision problem is something they were born with, then they don’t realize that it’s a problem. They have never seen clearly so they don’t realize that anything is wrong. That’s why noticing abnormal behavior when they read or look at objects in the distance is so important. You must detect a problem in their vision for them.

Some Steps You Can Take to Avoid Eye Problems in the Future

Restrict the amount of time that your children spend looking at electronic screens. These include, but are not limited to, video games, television, computers, kindles, and cell phones. Electronic screens can be the cause of eye strain in young eyes. It’s becoming more common for schools to provide tablets and computers to children for schoolwork. Sure, technology is great for learning, but it can also damage young eyes. If they use devices at school, definitely limit their use at home.

Get your children outside as much as possible. We understand that in large cities this can be difficult. But, try to find after school programs or parks in the area where it’s safe for them to play. School sports are also an option to consider. The YMCA often offers programs that are available to children. Getting outside is crucial to developing eyes because it builds their distance-vision. Inside, most objects are within 12 feet, so the eyes don’t practice adjusting to far distances. You can prevent them from having myopia in the future be encouraging them to get outside today.

Make sure that your children are wearing sunglasses that protect them from UVA/UVB rays while outside. Because of the pollution in our atmosphere, more harmful rays are reaching the surface of the planet. These rays can cause damage to the eyes if left unprotected.

One question we get here a lot is when can our kids start taking eye vitamins so they can avoid glasses?

The Rebuild Your Vision Ocu-Plus Formula can help to improve common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism in children. Although this formula is convenient, safe, and effective, you can also get similar nutrients through food. Try to prepare well-balanced meals for your children with plenty of leafy greens. You may have to find some creative ways of hiding the greens in the recipe if they aren’t fans of them, though.

Remember that eye exams from an early age can help prevent vision problems in the future. Early detection allows for early treatment. Take your baby to a pediatric ophthalmologist by the age of one and then every year until kindergarten. If there are no vision problems up until this point, take your school-aged child for an eye exam every two years.

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Join or Start the Discussion

  1. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Wiseguy says:

    To foureyes: Ask your parents to get a pre-paid debit card, available at convenient stores or gas stations. Pre-paid debit cards are not tied to any bank account, so if parents are concerned with internet thieves accessing banking information…this type card thwarts thieves. You can “load” the card with only the amount of the purchase, so after your purchase there’s nothing left for thieves to get. The card may cost $5 to $10 dollars…and there’s a charge each time you re-load money onto it…but that is cheap insurance to protect your banking info.

  2. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen foureyes says:

    I wish I can buy, but sadly my parents won’t let me buy stuff on the internet. I have around -6.5 in each eye want to change that desperately. Is there any possibility that you will be selling it in stores?

    • Hi Foureyes,

      Sorry to hear about your vision. The Ocu-Plus Formula is only sold through our website. This way we can keep the costs low and not have to go through any distributors.

      To your vision — for life,
      Tyler

  3. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Wreck says:

    hey.. I have myopia and my numbe is -2.00 and i am trying to improve my eyesight but it is even decreasing day by day.. Can you please suggest me something

  4. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen jijo says:

    i have myopia…request assistance

  5. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Mark says:

    Yeah, I remember when I was 9 years old a bunch of frigging optometrists came to my school and tested all the kids’ eyesight. They found that instead of reading the 20 line from 20 feet, I had to take a step forward before I could read it. For this mortal sin of having the slightest degree of myopia I was prescribed glasses and my parents told I had to wear them forever. My insensitive father turned a deaf ear to all my protests and forced me to wear them at all times, sending me down the road of permanent visual deterioration; realistically screwing up my life. I had no chance to clear up a very minor problem by natural means.

    If today I could find those bastard optometrists again I would not hesitate to shoot them on the spot, and if the old man were alive would shoot him as well.

  6. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen lucid says:

    I’m from China and get to know you from Google. I used to use some eye exercises, but i never stuck to it all the time. After visiting your website, I made my decision to buy, now cause I’m in China, it is a litter bit hard for me to get some closer contact with you, so it’s the best way that I keep on reading your articles everyday! I believe I can make it!

  7. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Sadiqtamanna says:

    Your articles are instructive and informative and I keenly look forward to receiving more useful and helpful information.

  8. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen heather says:

    I was in the third grade!! I couln’t see the board and now my vision is horrible trying to make it better!

  9. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Seymour says:

    Wow! I didn’t have an eye exam before I was in my last years of middle school- I could never read the tv screen when I was playing videogames but I thought it was the screen that was blurry! I have no idea how I managed to do well in school when I couldn’t read the black board. I wish my parents had known what you just posted!

  10. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Margo says:

    Thank you.

  11. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen linda says:

    Thank You

  12. Avatar for Tyler Sorensen Deborah Ross says:

    Very informative!

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About the Author

Avatar for Tyler Sorensen

Tyler Sorensen is the President and CEO of Rebuild Your Vision. Formerly, Tyler studied Aeronautics (just like his brother) with the dream of becoming an airline pilot, however, after 9/11 his career path changed. After graduating top of his class with a Bachelor of Science in Informational Technologies and Administrative Management, he joined forces with his brother who started Rebuild Your Vision in 2002. With the guidance of many eye care professionals, including Behavioral Optometrists, Optometrists (O.D.), and Ophthalmologists (Eye M.D.), Tyler has spent nearly two decades studying the inner workings of the eye and conducting research.

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