According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter school. It is important to know that a vision screening by a child’s pediatrician or school is not a substitute for a comprehensive eye and vision examination by an optometrist.
An annual eye exam is important for everyone but especially essential for children due to their developing eyes and optical system. As children are ever growing, so are their eyes. Changes in their eyes may lead to visual problems such as near-sightedness, far-sightedness, and astigmatism. Many children will also have physiological problems with focusing, eye dominance, eye alignment, or binocular vision. In some rarer cases, kids may have eye pathology that is not detected until their first eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist.