Healthy eyes and vision are a critical part of a child’s development. A child’s eyes should be examined regularly because many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early. Be sure to make vision care and eye checks a part of your child’s routine medical care.
Routine medical exams for kids’ vision include:
- Newborns should be checked for general eye health by a pediatrician or family physician in the hospital nursery.
- High-risk newborns (including premature infants), those with a family history of eye problems and those with obvious eye irregularities should be examined by an eye doctor.
- In the first year of life, all infants should be routinely screened for eye health during checkups with their pediatrician or family doctor.
- Around age 3½, kids should have eye health screenings and visual acuity tests (tests that measure sharpness of vision) with their pediatrician or family doctor.
- Around age 5, kids should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician or family doctor. Those who fail either test should be examined by an eye doctor.
- After age 5, routine screenings should be done at school and the primary doctor’s office, and if symptoms such as squinting or frequent headaches occur. (Many times, a teacher will notice that a child isn’t seeing well in class.)
- Kids who wear prescription glasses or contacts should have annual checkups by an eye doctor to screen for vision changes.
Spotting Eye Problems
Signs that a child may have vision problems include:
- Constant eye rubbing
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Poor focusing
- Poor visual tracking (following an object)
- Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
- Chronic redness of the eyes
- Chronic tearing of the eyes
- A white pupil instead of black
In school-age children, other signs to watch for include:
- Being unable to see objects at a distance
- Having trouble reading the blackboard
- Difficulty reading
- Sitting too close to the TV
Watch your child for signs of poor vision or crossed eyes. If you notice any eye problems, have your child examined right away so that the problem doesn’t become permanent. If caught early, eye conditions often can be corrected. Dr. Pernelli offers comprehensive vision care for children and adults in location. Contact Eye Institute of South Jersey, P.C. today at 856-205-1100 or website to schedule your child’s first eye exam.