Thomas B. Wood, OD

 Barbara C. Masiello, OD

Clear Vision Begins with Healthy Eyes.

Children's Eye Health

 

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), "Infants should have their first comprehensive eye examination at six months of age. Children should then have additional eye exams at age three, and just before they enter the first grade - about age five or six".

 

It is important for parents to know that a screening by a child's pediatrician or at his or her school is not the same as a comprehensive  eye and vision examination by an optometrist. These screenings may indicate a potential need for further evaluation and cannot be used to diagnose a vision problem. According to the American Public Health Association, about 10% of preschoolers have vision problems. Children this age generally will not voice, or are unable to describe, complaints about their eyes.

 

Kids live an active lifestyle, much of it outdoors and therefore exposed to the effects of UV rays. The average child receives approximately three times the annual UV dose of the average adult and up to 80% of lifetime exposure by the age of 20.  Long-term exposure to UV can result in eye diseases such as cataract and macular degeneration. When outdoors, children require sun wear or transition lenses. Make sure clear and sun lenses block 100% of UV rays for optimal sun protection.




Parents should watch for signs that may indicate a vision problem, including:

  • Sitting close to the TV or holding a book too close
  • Squinting
  • Tilting their head
  • Frequently rubbing their eyes
  • Short attention span for the child's age
  • Turning of an eye in or out
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination when playing ball or bike riding
  • Avoiding coloring activities, puzzles, and other detailed activities

If you notice any of these signs in your preschooler, contact our office to schedule a comprehensive eye examination. Our office can accommodate most ages, please ask for details.

 

Steps taken at an early age to help ensure vision is developing normally can provide a child with a good "head start" for school.