Is it time for your kids to get an eye exam?

Comprehensive eye exams for children are extremely important. According to, 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. A child who is unable to see print or view a blackboard can become easily frustrated, leading to poor academic performance. Some vision problems, such as lazy eye, are best treated if they are detected and corrected as early as possible while the child's vision system is still developing.

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 the first grade — at about age 5 or 6.

For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. If glasses or contacts are needed, then annual eye exams are recommended.

Taking your children to an eye doctor, and having an early eye exam is very important because children need the following basic visual skills for learning:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Eye teaming (binocularity) skills
  • Eye movement skills
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Eye/hand coordination

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-800-EYE-CARE