Your Child & Their Eyes: Developing & Growing
Your little one is hitting milestones and finding new things to explore in their world every day! Their eyes are a part of that journey. Beyond exploring outside and enjoying play, about 80% of classroom learning is presented visually.
Bring your youngest family members for an eye exam and help prepare them for all the demands their eyes will face.
Timeline for Optometrist Visits
The Canadian Association of Optometrists has laid out guidelines for the minimum number of eye doctor visits your child should undergo at different times:
- Birth to 24 months: Infants and toddlers should be brought to their first eye exam when they are between 6 and 9 months old.
- 2 to 5 years: Preschool children should undergo at least one eye exam when they are between 2 and 5 years old—before they begin grade school.
- 6 to 19 years: School children should visit us for an eye exam every year to keep on top of their vision.
These are only guidelines! If your child is at risk for vision problems or their vision changes quickly, they may require more regular eye exams.
Common Childhood Vision Concerns
Amblyopia is more casually called lazy eye and can be described as weak vision or vision loss in one eye. It often results from an uncorrected prescription or strabismus. Early intervention is crucial with amblyopia: many children who receive treatment before age 6 may fully correct their amblyopia.
Amblyopia can be treated with eyeglasses, eye exercises, or patching one eye to correct vision.
Myopia, also called nearsightedness, occurs when the affected person can see objects close to them clearly, but struggle to focus on far-off objects. It’s caused by atypical curvature of the cornea or an eyeball that is too long.
Myopia is common in people of all ages but has the potential to be slowed in childhood. Visit our myopia control page to learn more about this condition and its treatment.
Hyperopia, or farsightedness, is when distant objects are easy to see, but objects near the viewer are not. It occurs when the eyeball is too short or not curved enough.
Hyperopia may cause struggles with reading, writing, and other close-up visual work. It can be corrected with glasses that only need to be worn when near vision is needed (such as reading glasses).
Astigmatism causes blurred vision. It’s a refractive error that occurs when the cornea or the lens of the eye is improperly curved. Since the curvature of the eye changes how light entering your eye hits the retina, an abnormal curve results in blurry or distorted vision.
Astigmatism is often found alongside myopia or hyperopia, as they all affect how the eye bends light. Astigmatism can be treated using glasses, laser eye surgery, or orthokeratology lenses (ortho-k), which are specialized contacts worn overnight to gently reshape the front of the eye.
Signs of Sight Problems
Your child may not realize they have a sight problem. Since their only experience with vision is their own, they might assume everyone sees the same way they do—especially if they have had a vision problem since early on in life.
As a parent, you can help by watching for signs your child might be struggling with their vision:
- Eyes watering
- Repeated headaches
- Tilting their head to see
- Holding books or handheld devices close to their face
- Poor depth perception
- Repeating or skipping words when reading
- Trouble spelling
- Strong reactions to light
- Blinking more frequently
- Recurring eye infections
Eye See…Eye Learn™
At Trinity Hills Eyecare, we believe every child has the right to clear sight. That’s why we’re part of Alberta’s Eye See…Eye Learn™ program. Any kindergarten-aged child who has an eye exam and needs glasses for vision correction will get a free pair.
The program has no paperwork and no hoops to jump through—just mention Eye See…Eye Learn™ when you book your child’s appointment!
Set Your Child Up For Success
We know as a parent you want the best for your child in every area of their life, including vision. The expertise of your child’s eye doctor can help them catch and manage sight problems early. Set your child up to succeed in school, sports, and more by helping keep their vision clear and healthy; book a children’s eye exam today.