If you have kids, you may be wondering, ‘How often do children need to get their eyes checked?’ Understanding when to take your child in for an eye exam can help you stay on top of their eye health, especially once they start school.
So, when do you need to have your child’s eyes examined?
When should you have your child’s eyes checked?
Your child should go to the eye doctor for the first time when they are around 6 months old. They should have their eyes checked again at age 3, and then once a year after age 6. Bringing them in for an eye exam during the school year is essential, as their vision can change.
How often do children need to get their eyes checked? Before your child starts school, they may need a vision screening, as it is a requirement by most states. Sometimes, the screenings are annual; other times, they are at intervals throughout your child’s school years. However, even if your child has a vision screening, they should still have a comprehensive eye exam because vision screenings can miss up to 60 percent of children’s eye concerns.
According to the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, many states require eye exams before your children enter preschool. These states include Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.
Before your children enter elementary school, the following states require an eye exam: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.
You can find more information on the state requirements in the chart below:
Image Credit: The National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health
What should you expect at your child’s eye exam?
If the eye care professional notices issues during a screening, your child will need a comprehensive eye exam. What should you expect at your child’s eye exam? Your child will be checked to see how they see at a distance. The optometrist will also test for astigmatism, nearsightedness, and other refractive errors.
While at the exam, the optometrist will even check how your child’s eyes are aligned. They may dilate your child’s eyes to get a better look, but it will be painless. In fact, the optometrist will do everything possible to make sure that your child is comfortable.
Summary: How often do children need to get their eyes checked?
Your child’s eye health is important, and good vision can help them in school. So, it is vital to have your child’s eyes examined regularly.
In general, your child should see an optometrist at 6 months old, 3 years old, and annually after age 6. However, your child should also get additional vision screenings and eye exams based on your state’s requirements.
Taking your child in for an eye exam when they need one can help them perform better inside and outside of the classroom.
For more information about children’s eye exams or to schedule an appointment, visit your nearest For Eyes today.