Eye health is important at any age, but for young children, regular eye exams are especially beneficial. Children may not always be able to notice vision issues such as near- or farsightedness. Therefore, having them visit the eye doctor at a young age can help keep their eye health and overall development on track.
Eye care professionals from the American Optometric Association (aoa.org) recommend children have their first exam at the age of six months. During this first visit, doctors will make sure eye movement and focusing skills are developing at a healthy rate. They’ll also check peripheral awareness and look for any near or distance vision problems.
Unless there are any vision-related issues the doctor would like to monitor, your child won’t have to have another eye exam until the age of three, and then again before kindergarten. The time frame leading up to your child’s first real classroom experience is especially important, as they’ll need proper vision to perform well in class. Yet, the National Commission on Vision & Health reports that 25% of school-aged children have a vision problem, and 79% have not visited an eye doctor within the last year.
Having your child receive glasses (or contact lenses, for older children) if they need them is essential to helping them see well in class. Yet, it’s also imperative to their physical well being: From playing sports to crossing the street, children need to see well to stay safe. Additionally, taking your child for eye exams when they’re young allows doctors to provide treatment for vision issues like amblyopia (lazy eye) early on, thereby giving them the greatest odds of having healthy eyes as an adult.
If you’re seeking a practice where you can take your child for an eye exam, look no further than Dolan Family Vision in Kalispell, MT. Their comprehensive eye care practice welcomes families and can provide a broad range of vision services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. To set up an appointment, call (406) 756-8420. You can also visit their website to learn more about their exams, treatments, and products.