When should I bring my child in for their first eye test?
I get asked this question almost every week nowadays. So it seems like a intriguing topic to discuss. It's not unheard of to be asked this by a parent that has a child entering school this September. They are quite surprised when I tell them typically infants should be assessed by either their pediatric physician or eye care professional at 6 months. This would be to rule out any obvious concerns (eye disease, lazy eye etc.) from labour and pregnancy. Once all is well, we would want the child accessed routinely by their eye doctor at 2 years of age, 4 years and every year after until their late teens. At their first few eye check-ups, we try our best to get the most testing done. However it's more likely that we are getting the most information we can about the child's vision and eye health before they kindly give us the tap on our shoulder indicating "that's enough". It's either that or the water works. This is also why we typically asks parents to book appointments for their young children when they feel it is the best time of day to have them sit down with us for at least 15 minutes. We also tell parents it would be great if the child can interact and communicate with us, however that is certainly not a requirement. In fact a lot of our pediatric exams involve no communication of letters or numbers. The testing typically involves looking at pictures, stickers or movies to keep the child entertained. For the past few years children in grades senior kindergarten and grade 1 have been enrolled in the yearly Lions Club vision screening. So don't be alarmed when your child comes home with a letter from your local club asking you to bring your child in to your optometrist. If this happens, It is important to have your child booked in to see your eye doctor for a comprehensive child eye exam. We always tell our parents to bring that letter with them to their appointment. To a healthy visual field, Dr. Mike Yee, OD