27 answers

When to Take My Baby Boy to the Eye Doctor?

At what age should kids have their first eye exam? (This is not including suspect vision problems.) There is nothing wrong with his vision, just curious what you Mama's thought because I am about to turn in my insurance information for the year and am curious if I should add him to my vision plan. Thanks!

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My daughter's pediatrician noticed problems with my daughter's vision when she was five and recommended seeing a pediatric opthamologist. I took my son in when the school sent a note home regarding his vision test (age 7). Unless there's medical history, I would wait. Having seen how difficult an eye exam can be for young children, I wouldn't put a little one thru it and not take them unless recommended by a pediatrician.
Hope this helps.

That's a question to ask the dr. on his next visit. The dr. can perform a basic test, enough to know if there is a potential problem and can advise you if a trip to a specialist is in order. At 14 months, why don't you try a few simple tests or directing his attention to specific things and see his reaction. The same goes for hearing.

As long as you don't suspect something, he should be fine for now. He will have to have an eye exam (and hearing) when he starts kindergarten. My son's pre-school did them in the spring before he started kinder.

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I interview eye doctors as a matter of routine for my job and they all recommend you bring a baby in as young as 6 months. There is actually a federal program that is offered at their offices specifically for babies. It is along the lines of a well baby check up, but specifically for the eyes. Check with your local eye doctor and then put your baby on your insurance.

I think it goes on during his normal Dr. visit when he turns 5 unless you think vision may be an issue thatn anytime I guess.

I just spoke with my son's pedi and my eye doctor about this last week because of my open enrollment for insurance at work. My son just turned two and they both recommended to wait until he is 4 or 5 unless i can tell any problems with his sight. His dad and i both have bad vision so it was something that i was wondering about as well. When you do make an appointment make sure it is with an eye doctor for children.

I would venture to say about 3 years old. Unless you notice something wrong earlier than that. At the age of three is when I took mine because they had just started pre-pre-k. The eye doctor uses pictures instead of letters. It is so cute! They can also look into the baby's eyes and tell if there is something wrong... by looking through the lenses.

Unless you are having specific problems your pediatrian will start including an eye exam at age 4 or 5. Usually before they go to school. My kids are 9 & 5 and I don't pay the extra for vision insurance for them yet since it is done at checkups and now school also. If either of them need vision correction I'll add them or maybe when they are in their teens.

My 2 cents.

D.

My opinion, between ages 3-5, well before kindergarten. Earlier if you have family history of eye issues. I have a preemie who has been seen since infancy and the doc said I should have my three year checked now.

As long as you don't suspect something, he should be fine for now. He will have to have an eye exam (and hearing) when he starts kindergarten. My son's pre-school did them in the spring before he started kinder.

Your child's doctor will check your toddlers eyes at each exam. The Dr. will suggest if he or she suspects any abnormalities.

If you notice problems you should speak with your doctor. Usually the first eye check will be right before kindergarten with their school physical and school immunizations.

My hubby and I go to a friend that's an Optometrist. Any time we've gone in, my oldest keeps asking when SHE gets to see Dr. Brad. When we were there about a year ago for our last checkups, he recommended that she come in with us, when we book our next appointments. She just turned five, and will go in the next 3-6 months.

I suspect that unless they show any symptoms, that five is a good time to start them.

M.

I asked my optomitrist at my last appointment... he said 4 or 5.

Last time I got my eyes checked, i asked the doctor this. He said when he knows his alphabet. Unless he shows signs of vision problems like squinting.

If you do not suspect a vision problem, they usually do an eye exam at the three year check up. There is info on the web for what to look for if you suspect a problem.

If you don't suspect a problem 4 years old is recomended.

I did not suspect any problems but I myself have had to wear glasses since I was very young, I have 20/400 uncorrected vision.
The eye doctor I have gone to for 28 years..and the only one, told me as long as you do not suspect anything 5 to 8 years old is adequate. By the time they start school the teachers usually pick up on it, and if you go to your regular well baby check ups they start to do the eye chart there, when they can identify shapes.
Good for you for being on the bsll.

Your pediatricians office should do an eye exam (once they are old enough to communicate). They will let you know if a referral to an optometrist or opthamolagist is needed.

Also most public schools do regular vision screenings and they will alert parents if the children fail the test or have trouble with the test.

If you don't notice anything out of the ordinary, then not until 4. Your pedi. will do a quick check at your 3 year old well check (and each year after that), but unless there's something off or you bring up a concern, they don't usually have one until they have to (for PRE-K, Kinder, or daycare (only after 4 years old though). You will need to have one when you register your child for school (or if he's in daycare, when he's 4 he'll need one). Oftentimes, even then, the schools (especially public school) can do it for you with the school nurse.

I belonged to a MOMs Club and they had a Christmas party with a Santa and everything there in the lobby of an eye clinic. They also had a photographer who took pictures with Santa while we waited to get in to see the eye DR. It was really nice. I didn't even know you could take kids in that young unless you suspected a problem, but we got free eye exams for both my kids and they were 18 months and 2.5 years at the time. Both did fine and neither got scared or cried during the examination. Now we went to an eye center, where they also do eye surgeries, no your local eye Dr. and they had a room just for little ones that had cartoons on the walls and such. They would ask the kids if they could see a black spider on the wall and it was at the bottom of the eye chart. They also had them put on some paper glasses and look at a book and they asked them if they could see the fly and then they moved the book and asked them if the fly was moving or if it was moving it's wings. This had to do with a 3D type thing. Then they showed them a book with a circle and a cat in the middle and they asked them what they what they saw in the circle and it seems this tested for color blindedness. They said if they couldn't see the kitty then they were color blind. the circle and cat were made up of a bunch of little dots. Kids really enjoyed it all then once the kids were comfortable, they then got out the little flashlight and then examined their eyes and had them look at different things in the room. Then they got a cookie and we were on our way. I tell you it was very nice having that peace of mind. Every year our Mom's Club set this up with the eye center and so I plan to take the kids again. Hope this helps you and good luck taking yours in. They told me it is helpful to catch problems early on and possibly prevent permanent damage.

We started our 3 kids when they were 5 because poor vision runs on my side of the family. I needed glasses when I was 5-1/2. All 3 eventually needed glasses in 5th, 3rd & 4th grades. We told our youngest, a boy, he was playing a video game when he did the peripheral lights check & he cooperated beautifully. Unless you suspect anything or have a family history I would wait.
God Bless
S.

I took my son when he started kindergarten. It's was just my preference. He knew his alphabet already so it was easier for him to be tested.

My daughter's pediatrician noticed problems with my daughter's vision when she was five and recommended seeing a pediatric opthamologist. I took my son in when the school sent a note home regarding his vision test (age 7). Unless there's medical history, I would wait. Having seen how difficult an eye exam can be for young children, I wouldn't put a little one thru it and not take them unless recommended by a pediatrician.
Hope this helps.

It is really tough to evaluate them if they can't communicate. My doc started seeing them at four because the knew their shapes and could tell him. I am sure there are other ways to evaluate but I didnt really worry till they were 4 and up.

Sorry, I didn't read all the responses, but my son's daycare said that they needed a vision and hearing check on file I believe it was at 4. This is also covered at the 4 year old check so unless you have any other reasons to believe it needs to be checked prior I wouldn't worry before then. If they aren't in daycare, then I wouldn't worry till they start school.

If your pediatrician hasn't suggested a problem, your child can likely get a regular vision screening at his/her well checks, probably starting at age 4 or 5 (before starting school). Unless those don't go well, or incase your doctor doesn't offer that (mine does, so I can only guess others would as well) your child may never need to see an ophthalmologist!

P. (mom with three boys plus a husband)

That's a question to ask the dr. on his next visit. The dr. can perform a basic test, enough to know if there is a potential problem and can advise you if a trip to a specialist is in order. At 14 months, why don't you try a few simple tests or directing his attention to specific things and see his reaction. The same goes for hearing.

My daughter just had her first vision screening at the pediatrician's office. It occured during her 4 year old well baby check. Unless there is some concern, my pediatrician said that testing before the age of 4 doesn't give any conclusive results. The child needs to be able to recognize the symbols and respond to what they are seeing for the doctor to get an accurate representation of their vision. He said they are about 4 when their vision is first stable/clear enough to determine if there are any problems. Hope this helps!

My ped starts the eye chart at age 4. I suppose she'd probably do more earlier if you suspected a problem. As a baby, I think she did check to see if she was tracking objects.

Take them to an eye doctor before age 1 or earlier if you suspect something, but at least age 1, because there are some eye problems that can not be corrected if left to long. My son has a 6 month old he has taken already, because of a co-worker who has an toddler that could have been better off if taken sooner. Find an eye doctor that has a device that can read the eyes vision, my eye doctor has one, what it does is take a picture of your eye and it is very accurate with the eye vision test you are used to.
Also, I know someone that had twins and the mom would ask the baby doctor about one of the twin that she did not think the baby can see. While the doctor just did not agree with the parents, thank goodness the parent went somewhere else because the baby is legal blind.
I also, have a friend that was in the 5th grade before his parents got his eyes checked and guess what he could not even see what was written on the blackboard and for the first time he saw the leaves on tress, therefore he always needed glasses since birth.
There are pediatric eye doctor, find one.

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