If you are a new parent, you know that the list of things to do for your child can be overwhelming— if not endless. From when they should start eating solids to when they should begin preschool, it can seem like there is something new for you to learn around every corner. When it comes to their eye care, however, it’s important to know when they need to get their first eye exam, concerns to look out for, and any current conditions that may make them at risk of further eye conditions. Read on to learn more.
When Should They Get Their First Eye Exam?
According to The American Optometric Association, kids who aren’t at risk for eye diseases should have their first eye exam conducted at six months old. If their vision checks out, your child should see an optometrist again at three years old and then before they start kindergarten or first grade.
What Is Their First Eye Exam Like?
Because a 6-month old baby isn’t able to read an eye chart, their eye examination will be vastly different than an adult’s. The main thing that the optometrist will be looking is whether they can follow things like light or even a moving finger. Additionally, the doctor will look into their eyes to see if they notice any abnormalities.
What Is Seen as “Abnormal”?
If your child rubs their eyes before bed, this is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. However, if their eyes become red, inflamed, or start to have a discharge come out of them, then you should take them in to be checked out.
What Conditions Make Them At Risk?
If your child has any of the conditions listed below, they are considered to be at risk for developing a vision impairment. According to the AOA, conditions include:
- Prematurity, low birth weight, oxygen at birth, grade III or IV intraventricular hemorrhage
- Family history of retinoblastoma, congenital cataracts, or metabolic or genetic disease
- Infection of mother during pregnancy (e.g., rubella, toxoplasmosis, venereal disease, herpes, cytomegalovirus, or AIDS)
- Difficult or assisted labor
- High refractive error
- Known or suspected central nervous system dysfunction evidenced by developmental delay, cerebral palsy, dysmorphic features, seizures, or hydrocephalus
To learn more about your child’s vision health, contact Eye and Laser Center today!