Taking your child for regular eye vision testing is important not only for their eye health but for their performance in school as well. Knowing what age to begin taking your child to get eye vision testing, how often to take them, and what that testing includes can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s review some of the basics you need to know about eye vision testing for your child.
Why Should Your Child Get Tested?
Getting your child tested will ensure that their eyes are healthy and free from problems that could interfere with their learning at school. An estimated 35% of preschoolers have vision problems of some kind. That means that the likelihood of your child having an issue with their vision is relatively high. If you’re unaware that your child has an issue with their vision, then you can’t take steps to correct it. the first step to improving their vision and eye health is getting an eye vision test done regularly. These tests can help to give your child more accurate focus, improved eye movement, and better learning abilities.
When Should Your Child Get Tested?
The earlier a vision problem is detected, the sooner it can be corrected. Children should receive their first vision test at 6 months of age. Babies can see the same as adults when judging depth perception, color vision, and eye focusing. Children should receive their next test at age 3, and then again at age 5 or 6 right before starting first grade. If the child needs glasses or vision correction at any of these appointments, they should then have checkups annually. If there are no vision issues detected, checkups every two years should still be done to ensure no new issues have developed. These checkups will include vision testing, eye alignment testing, checking eye health, and prescribing eyewear if needed.
Signs Your Child Should Get Tested
In addition to the routine vision testing your child should be getting, there are more signs you can be looking out for that might indicate a vision problem in your child. These signs could include the following:
- Excessive eye rubbing
- Failure to maintain gaze or eye contact
- Failure to maintain focus on work
- Frequent headaches
- Squinting to read or watch tv comfortably
- Delayed motor development
If your child is suffering from these symptoms, or any other symptoms you think could be caused by a vision problem, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for an eye vision test checkup. Many eye and vision problems can be corrected or fixed over time if they’re treated promptly and properly. Your child’s pediatrician should perform a more basic version of the vision test at yearly physicals and checkups. If any issues are found during those tests, your child’s pediatrician may recommend an appointment with the optometrist sooner than your next checkup.