One out of every four school-aged children have a vision disorder that can lead to learning problems.* For this reason, it's recommended to have your child's eyes examined at least once per year. August is Children's Eye Health and Safety Month, and a perfect time to schedule an eye exam before they head back to school!
Having your child's eyes examined at an early age is critical to their learning and development. If they have never had an eye examination or worn eyeglasses, there is no way for them to know what clear vision looks like. They simply assume everyone else sees the same way they do.
The American Optometric Association recommends all children receive a comprehensive eye examination at the following stages in their visual development:
- By six months of age
- At three years of age
- Before first grade
- Annually from 6-18 years
Relying on the school's vision screening program for your child is never recommended as they only detect the most common eye and vision problems. In addition, waiting until your child experiences symptoms such as headaches, red eyes, eye pain, squinting, or blurred vision can be detrimental and lead to potentially long-term vision loss from Amblyopia (lazy eye), or other preventable eye diseases.
To verify your child's eyes are not at risk, schedule them for a comprehensive eye examination. For young children, special diagnostic equipment can be used to measure refractive errors in their eyes. They do not need to know their numbers, colors, or even respond to the testing as it is performed in an eye examination.
If vision correction is required in the form of prescription eyeglasses, many options are available. The safest option for your child includes a durable frame and an impact resistant lens material such as polycarbonate, or Trivex™. This will prevent the lens from shattering if your child takes a fall, or has an accident on the playground. Lastly, if your child participates in sports, you may also want to consider a pair of protective goggles to keep their eyes safe during play.
For more information about your child's vision, or to schedule a comprehensive eye health exam, please call our office today.
*American Optometric Association