When Should My Child Have Their First Pediatric Eye Exam?

child at an eye exam

Everyone should have regular eye exams to check on the health and condition of their eyes, and this includes our children. Our kids are just as reliant on visual sense as we are, and their visual skills will continue to develop for several months after they are born. While their eyes will briefly be checked as soon as they are born, you will need to start taking them to visit a pediatric eye doctor in Wichita Falls, TX more regularly as they get older.


When Does My Child Need Their First Eye Exam?


The American Optometric Association recommends that infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam with a qualified optometrist at just six months old.


Your child’s next eye exam should take place around the age of 3, and then again just before they start school. All school-aged children should have a pediatric eye exam on an annual basis. This is because your child’s vision can change very quickly during their school years and unless issues are detected promptly, it could have a significant impact on their ability to learn and succeed in school.


Infant Eye Exams


Unsurprisingly, it is much harder to assess the vision of an infant than a school-aged child, in part due to the lack of communication skills that an infant has. However, babies should still be able to focus, see color, and have depth perception by the time they are six months old. There are some tests that your pediatric eye doctor will be able to perform to assess their vision. These tests will include:


  • Testing the response of their pupils to light


  • Checking if their eyes are able to focus on and follow a moving object, such as a light


  • Seeing if they illustrate visual preference, which refers to looking at a visually interesting object over a blank one


As your child gets older, further tests will be able to be used to assess the clarity of their vision, as well as their developing visual skills. These tests could include examining the structures inside the eyes using a special, non-invasive piece of equipment called a slit lamp, asking them to pick out certain colors or shapes, and reading a chart of letters from a distance. Your pediatric eye doctor at Clarke EyeCare Center will be happy to explain the tests that they are using and why they are important.


Signs That Your Child Could Have Issues With Their Vision


It is important that you make your eye doctor in Wichita Falls aware if you notice your child exhibiting any of the following behaviors:


  • Frequent eye rubbing


  • Excessive blinking


  • Difficulty making or maintaining eye contact


  • Poor eye tracking skills


  • Poor hand-eye coordination


  • Missing words or skipping lines when reading


  • Actively avoiding doing any tasks that require visual concentration


  • Sitting very close to the television or board at school  




If you have any concerns about your child’s vision, or if you would like to make an appointment for a pediatric eye exam in Wichita Falls, TX, please contact our experienced and friendly eyecare team at Clarke EyeCare Center at 940-905-0700.