Prevention Is the Best Medicine for Your Child’s Eyes
From the minute your child is born, they learn to interact with the world using their eyes. Your child’s eyes will change and develop rapidly as they learn how to use the vital visual skills they’ll rely on later in life.
If any of their visual skills are lacking or your child develops a vision problem, they could struggle in school and extracurricular activities. Routine eye exams staggered among your child’s major visual milestones are the best method of preventing ocular complications down the road.
When to Have Your Child’s Eyes Examined
The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) recommends that children undergo eye exams to match their needs as they age.
Many childhood eye conditions respond well to intervention if they’re detected and treated early enough. Untreated vision problems can result in vision loss by the time your child is 9 or 10. That means regular eye exams are essential for children and their quickly-developing eyes.
Although we follow the CAO’s recommended exam frequency, every child is different. We may recommend more or fewer exams for your child based on their needs.
Infants & Toddlers
Your child’s first eye exam should take place when they’re between 6 and 9 months. At this age, your child will gain muscle control and start developing hand-eye coordination.
During the toddler years, issues like crossed eyes (strabismus) or lazy eyes (amblyopia) tend to surface and require correction.
When your child is between 2 and 5, they should receive at least 1 eye exam. Because learning and development are profoundly tied to vision during these years, an eye exam before school is essential to ensure your child’s eyes won’t hold them back academically.
Once your child enters school, they will rely more and more on their eyes and eyesight as they advance through the years. They should undergo annual eye exams between the ages of 6 and 19 to monitor changes to the vision, diagnose and manage refractive errors, and catch potential eye diseases and conditions.
What to Expect During Your Child’s Eye Exam
Our eye care environment is welcoming and warm so your child feels comfortable from start to finish. Our team is highly-trained and passionate about your child’s eye health because vision plays such an integral role in their learning and development.
During your child’s eye exam we will test for:
- Myopia (nearsightedness)
- Hyperopia (farsightedness)
- Colour perception
- Amblyopia (lazy eye)
- Strabismus (crossed-eyes)
- Eye coordination
- Depth perception
- Focusing ability
Stressing the Importance of Regular Children’s Eye Exams
Nearly 25% of school-aged children in Canada have an undiagnosed vision problem. And because 80% of classroom learning is visual, a child with a vision problem can suffer greatly while learning and growing.
Children with undiagnosed vision problems can become withdrawn and perform poorly in school. These problems may lead to developmental delays and lifelong disadvantages and could cause your child to:
- Learn at a slower rate than expected at their age
- Grow frustrated with learning
- Develop negative self-esteem
- Develop behavioural problems
How to Know If Your Child Has a Vision Problem
Children aren’t always aware they have a vision problem, or they may not be able to articulate if they are. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect vision problems and eye conditions early, while they can still be treated effectively.
If your child does or complains of any of the following symptoms, book them for an eye exam right away:
Help your Child Achieve Lifelong Healthy Vision
We believe in building and fostering strong relationships with all our patients, but especially our littlest ones. By instilling in your child lifelong respect and love for their eyes, we believe that they’ll achieve strong and healthy eyes well into their golden years.
Please book an appointment for your child’s eye exam, and let’s start this eye health journey together.
You can find our office at 802 Main Street East, Unit #7, in Shelburne, Ontario. We’re located in the strip mall off Dufferin Road 124 and Highway 10, beside the Tim Hortons.
- 802 Main Street East, Unit #7
- Shelburne, ON L9V 2Z5
- Phone: 519-925-3882
- Fax: 226-777-7150
- Email: [email protected]
- Monday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
- Thursday: 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
- Sunday: Closed