When (and Why) Should Your Child Get Vision Screenings?

Make sure your children are able to succeed by getting their eyes checked annually.

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When to Start Eye Exams for your Child

Children are constantly growing and developing. From birth into the early years of life, regular check-ups for their body and their eyes are important to ensure they stay healthy. By the time children are five years old, they should have had three eye exams.

When a baby is born, their vision is still in the early stages of development. Babies’ bodies change constantly in the first months of life, but by the age of 6 months their vision has started to stabilize. This means that it’s time for their first vision screening to make sure their eyes are developing properly.

When children reach three years of age they’ll be ready for another eye exam to check for things like lazy eye, crossed eyes and proper development.

Children’s eyes should be checked again for once preschool begins. If necessary, the optometrist will prescribe glasses to easily help correct any issues.


Signs of Vision Problems

Young children may not realize or understand that they have a vision issue because they don’t know any differently. This is why it’s important for you to make sure they receive screenings early. 

According to the American Optometric Association, some signs your children may be experiencing a vision issue include:

  • Not being able to identify shapes, colors, or numbers at all or like they could before
  • Holding reading materials or other visual aids too close to their face
  • Sitting too close to the television
  • Squinting excessively
  • Rubbing their eyes frequently
  • Suddenly developing sensitivity to light

Why Children Need Vision Screenings

Approximately 1 in 4 children have undetected vision problems because parents don’t always recognize the signs of bad vision or the importance of regular eye exams. Children need vision screenings to ensure that they are living their best life and able to learn to their best ability. Learning is an 80 percent visual experience, so developing and maintaining vision is of the utmost importance to ensure your children succeed in school and throughout their lives.

This article is presented in collaboration with VSP Vision Care