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At What Age Should Your Child’s Eyes Be Checked?

child getting eye exam

Did you know that 10% of preschoolers and 25% of school-age children have vision problems? The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that all children receive regular eye exams to detect issues that are treatable when caught early. Read our following guide to learn when your child’s eyes should be checked.

Scheduling Eye Exams

Routine vision screenings should be scheduled for children at the following ages:

  • Newborns: All babies should receive an eye exam by a pediatrician in the hospital nursery to check for general eye health. High-risk newborns should be examined by an eye doctor.
  • First year: During the first year of life, all babies should have regular vision screenings during checkups with their pediatrician.
  • 3 years old: Around the age of 3 years old, children should have a visual acuity test from their pediatrician to measure the sharpness of their vision.
  • 5 years old: Before entering kindergarten, all children should have their vision and eye alignment checked by their pediatrician. Children who fail the exam should be referred to an eye doctor.
  • School age: All school age children should receive yearly routine eye screenings at school and at their pediatrician’s office.

Spotting Eye Problems

In addition to regular vision screenings, parents should schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor when noticing any of the following symptoms of eye problems:

  • Persistent eye rubbing
  • Poor focusing
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Poor visual tracking
  • Abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes
  • White pupil
  • Having trouble reading the blackboard
  • Squinting
  • Difficulty reading
  • Sitting too close to the TV