When Should a Child Get an Eye Exam?

It is recommended that kids get screened well before they go to school. "Even in the absence of symptoms, the Nigerian Optometric Association recommends that all children have their first comprehensive eye examination with an eye doctor in the first year of life, again at age 3, and then every year thereafter.

Warning signs include:

  • Loses place while reading
  • Avoids close work
  • Tends to rub eyes
  • Has headaches
  • Turns or tilts head
  • Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
  • Omits or confuses small words when reading
  • Consistently performs below potential
  • Struggles to complete homework
  • Squints while reading or watching television
  • Has behavioral problems
  • Holds reading material closer than normal

"Not seeing well can hinder a child's social and educational growth. Vision impacts all areas of a child's life, so if you have the slightest inkling that your child isn't seeing well, make an appointment — and don't expect her to come to you with complaints, as she may not know herself that she needs to get checked out.