Good vision is essential to learning. Children should have an eye examination with an optometrist as early as possible when they start school. Your optometrists have the equipment and training to carry out a thorough eye examination, checking all the aspects of your child’s vision which are important to learning.
If your child has a problem, the key to preventing long term vision problems is early detection. Correcting a child’s vision problem before the age of 7 can significantly reduce the risk of having a vision problem for life. If there is a family history of eye sight problems, if your child is having problems in school or you are worried about your child’s vision in any way, bring them along to your local optometrist and ask about an eye examination. Always remember that undetected vision problems can cause learning and behavioural problems.
Signs that your child may have a problem with their vision include
A child's eye examination is not the same as an adults and will often require more than one visit. The optometrist may also have to use special drops to help determine what is the problem with your child's vision.
The optometrist may give your child special exercises to help co-ordinate your child's eyes to make them team together better or to help bring up the vision in one eye if it is poor.
If the optometrist cannot help your child's vision improve, they will refer your child on to an eye doctor for further help.
If your child needs to wear glasses, always encourage, praise and be positive about it. A negative reaction may result in your child not wearing their glasses which could impact negatively on their visual health for life.
Have your children's eyes tested regularly by a registered optometrist, this is vital in the developmental stage of vision before 8 years old. Problems can develop between the school screening at 4-5 years old and the critical age of 8 years old where there is no follow up in the school system.
Contact your local AOI member to book an eye examination for your child if you have any reason to think their eyes may need help.