It’s that time of year and as kids are either back in school, or headed there soon, it’s important to make sure they’ve got everything they need to have the best year yet. Ensuring their vision is healthy is a big part of that. Over the next few weeks, CEF will help answer some of the most pressing questions a parent might have about how to know their child is ready!
Vision screening is a crucial part of keeping a child healthy, but when should my child get screened and where should it be done?
Parents should ideally have their child’s vision screened with an instrument based vision screening device by the pediatrician around age one, and again in the preschool ages between 3 and 5 years of age. If your child’s pediatrician doesn’t have a vision screening device, an exam by an ophthalmologist is recommended.
Beginning in kindergarten, children should have their eyes screened yearly by the pediatrician or at a school vision screening using an eye chart. And if there is a family history of serious vision disorders, prematurity, other medical concerns or there are signs of something abnormal, then your child may need a complete eye exam by a pediatric ophthalmologist.
“Vision screening is as important as your child’s annual physical. Often, these problems go undetected because they affect only one eye. If vision problems aren’t caught early in childhood, they can lead to permanent vision loss and even blindness. If they are caught early, they can be treated to restore vision or sometimes even save your child’s life.” – Dr. David Epley, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Children’s Eye Care, Kirkland, WA
Fortunately, there are now many opportunities and locations where your child can get their vision screened. Your pediatrician or family doctor is a great place to start. Schools, health departments, day care and other service organizations often also offer vision screening.
“Technology has really improved and now children can be screened without needing to respond verbally at all. This has been a huge help. I now see much younger children who have been identified. This allows us to prevent a lot of problems rather than have to treat them.” – Dr. Denise Chamblee, Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Hampton Roads Eye Associates, Newport News, VA
We sometimes think of screening as a one time event, but it is most effective when performed throughout childhood. Though screening should begin in infancy, things change as your child grows so one screening evaluation is not enough. One thing is for sure, the earlier we can detect a problem, the better chance we have of successful treatment.
Visit Seemore.Today to learn more and download our Parent’s Guide with lots of helpful information about vision screening.
We want all kids to have healthy sight for life! Help support the work of the Children’s Eye Foundation, the official foundation of the world’s largest physician organization dedicated to children’s eye care and adults with strabismus.