Toddlers, children, and adolescents aren’t the most articulate bunch. So, many tots with eye conditions do not know how to express themselves when a problem exists. Plus, those with vision issues at birth have a limited frame of reference in determining how objects should actually appear. Industry experts note that up to 25% of primary school-aged children have unresolved vision issues. This statistic should be reason enough for many parents to schedule pediatric eye exams. Calgary optometrists at Focus West Optometry recommend scheduling your child for an eye exam if you suspect they have a visual irregularity, complain of headaches, having issues with hand-eye coordination, or if their vision has never been tested with a licensed optometrist. You can have your child’s vision tested as soon as they reach six months in age.
What if My Child Received a Vision Test at School?
Many school-based vision tests use screening methods that do not detect certain vision problems. In fact, it is estimated 15-20% of school-aged children with vision problems go on untreated when the only screening method employed is through the school system. School-based vision tests typically only check for ocular focus, also known as the “classic 20/20 test.” Your child may pass this vision exam, but still have issues clearly reading the words in a book or competing in sports.
When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Eye Exam?
Many optometric associations recommend having a child’s first eye exam at six months of age. If the child’s vision is satisfactory and no abnormalities are detected, you can then follow up with your optometrist once the child reaches three years of age, and then again when your child enters kindergarten.
What is Tested During a Pediatric Vision Assessment?
Some of the visual acuity skills tested during a pediatric eye exam include: