The importance of regular eye exams from the eye doctor for your child should not be overlooked. They are essential for making sure your son or daughter’s eyes are healthy and there are no vision problems that could get in the way of their safety or how they perform at school.

You should take your child to the eye doctor for the first time when they turn 6 months old. Then, they should have their eyes examined again at age 3 and right before they start first grade at around age 6.

Once your son or daughter hits school age, you should take them to the eye doctor for an exam at least every two year if the eye doctor has not discovered any issues. If your child does wear glasses or contacts, however, you should take them to the eye doctor on an annual basis.

What can you expect during an eye exam for your child? It really depends on your child’s age and the condition of their vision. In most cases, there will be a few vision and eye alignment tests, an eye health evaluation, and a determination of whether or not your child needs glasses.

As a parent, it will be your responsibility to inform your child’s eye doctor of certain things that may be signs of vision problems. Be sure to let them know if your son or daughter has delayed motor development, rubs their eyes often, blinks excessively, has a difficult time maintaining eye contact, or is lacking good eye tracking skills.

If your child didn’t pass a vision screening at school or at their regular doctor, let them know as well. It’s also wise to inform the eye doctor if you have a family history of eye disease, refractive errors, amblyopia, or strabismus. The more information you can offer, the easier it will be for your child’s eye doctor to pinpoint issues and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.