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When Should My Child Start Pediatric Eye Exams?

Vision problems are very common among children. Researches report that up to 25 percent of school-going kids have eyesight problems. Most vision problems can affect learning. Most school activities are highly dependent on visual skills. 

 

Many vision problems do not have obvious symptoms, making them difficult to detect in the early stages. Regular school vision screenings can fail to detect some vision problems. Regular pediatric eye exams can ensure that any vision disorders are detected early.

 

Pediatric Eye Exams


 

As a parent, you should start taking note of your child’s eyes right at infancy. Your child should get the first eye exam at six months old, the next at three years, and then before starting school. Early childhood exams are vital to ensuring the normal development of visual skills. 

 

Comprehensive eye exams are the only way to find out if your child has optimal visual skills. These will help detect any problems that might affect the child’s academic performance when they begin school. Pediatric eye exams are conducted by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.  

 

The First Pediatric Eye Exam


 

According to the American Optometric Association, kids should have their first eye examination at six months old. This exam is mainly about making sure that the child’s eyes are healthy and developing normally. The initial exam may not be as extensive as consecutive exams, but it is just as important. At this age, the doctor can detect eye issues that the child may have been born with. 

 

Detecting Vision Problems


 

Detecting vision problems early is more important today than ever before. Young children are beginning to use computers and other electronic devices at an early age. This means that good vision is vital to ensure optimal learning. 

 

Some children are born with conditions that can cause problems with visual development. If not detected early, strabismus or eye alignment problems can lead to visual disability. If you suspect your baby may have strabismus or amblyopia, it is important to consult a pediatric eye doctor. 

 

Common Refractive Errors


 

Many children have common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Myopia or nearsightedness is the most common eye condition affecting young kids. These eye conditions can cause symptoms such as headaches, eyestrain, and blurred vision. 

 

In some cases, kids avoid reading due to vision difficulties. If not treated, vision problems can lead to learning issues. Detecting the problems before the child begins school will help prevent learning difficulties later on. 

 

Annual Eye Exams


 

If your child is diagnosed with vision problems, it is important to go for annual eye exams. If the child has been prescribed corrective lenses, it is vital to make sure that you plan an annual checkup. The need is even higher if your child wears contacts. If the child has risk factors predisposing them to eye problems, more frequent exams may be recommended. 

 

Pediatric eye doctors use special diagnostic and clinical tools and assessments when determining a child’s visual abilities and ocular health. If you notice signs of developmental delays in your child, talk to the eye doctor.


 

For more information on pediatric eye exams, visit Kennedy Vision Health Center at our offices in Plymouth or Elk River, Minnesota. You can call 763-296-2600 or 763-296-2700 today to schedule an appointment.

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