Many parents wonder when the appropriate age is for their child to have his or her eyes checked. It’s important to note that your young child may have poor eyesight but may not be aware of it. A child’s vision is very important to development and learning so we recommend scheduling a general eye exam for your child when he or she turns three years of age. The state of Illinois requires annual eye exams for children starting in preschool, when they are three years old and older, whether they attend a private or public preschool or a licensed daycare center. Then before your child begins kindergarten it is mandatory that he or she has another vision test and an eye alignment exam. Please note that if your child was premature or has developmental delays, or if he or she suffered an eye injury or if eye disease is a part of your family history, he or she may need more regular eye exams, depending on what your ophthalmologist recommends.
Signs Your Preschooler May Have Eye or Vision Problems:
- Your child squints constantly especially when watching TV, or looking at something a slight distance away
- Your child reads or plays with a tablet very close to his or her face
- Sensitive to light
- Constantly rubbing at his or her eyes and/or teary eyes
- Has difficulty catching balls or Frisbees and complains he or she can’t see it well when it’s being thrown
- Regular headaches
Signs Your Baby May Have Eye or Vision Problems:
- Your baby’s eyes don’t move in sync by 3 months of age
- Your baby’s eyes look very distinct from each other
- Your baby’s eyes don’t focus on you or on toys held in front of their face by six months of age
- Your baby has continued watery eyes or develops regular rashes or infections in one or both eyes
If you are concerned that your child has an eye or vision problem, it is best to schedule a full eye and vision exam as soon as possible. If something is wrong, your eye doctor can help find a solution so further problems do not develop with your child’s eyes. Please contact one of our two offices if you need a referral for an eye doctor. And if your child needs glasses, it will literally open a whole new world to him or her that they can actually see clearly!