Tips on eye care for children
Children should undergo their first comprehensive vision test at the age of three. Eye care…
Eye tests for children: Tips on eye care for children
It is important to have your child’s vision checked regularly. After all, sight plays an important role in how your child acquires knowledge about the world. But how early should you start?
Children should undergo their first comprehensive vision test at the age of three. Unless the optician recommends otherwise, these should then be done every two years.
Vision tests at an optician are important, even when the child starts school and undergoes simpler vision tests. Vision tests test visual acuity (clarity and sharpness), but healthy eyes are about more than just perfect vision (20-20).
Other areas of vision such as color vision, focusing, or eye movement can cause problems that are not tested by vision tests.
Here are additional tips to help you keep your child’s eyes healthy and well.
Things to keep in mind regarding children’s vision
Control how the child looks at things, at home and at school. Signs that your child needs to be checked for any vision problems include:
- Sitting too close to the TV or tablet. Children who have difficulty seeing often try to compensate for this by moving closer or holding things closer to their face.
- The child narrows his eyes the same or shows other signs of discomfort. Vision problems can cause children to close their eyes, often rub their eyes, become unusually sensitive to light or tilt their head when looking at objects.
- Has problems with coordination. Difficulties with the coordination between eye and hand or eye and body during physical activities such as cycling or roofing can occur due to vision problems.
- Has an unusually low level of attention or interest. Lack of attention and concentration are signs of attention problems (ADHD), but the same symptoms show up in vision problems. Vision problems at a young age can lead to declining interest in activities that are performed up close, e.g. to read, to paint or to put puzzles.
First visit to the optician
Your child’s first visit to an optician or doctor may be a source of anxiety. In order to reassure the child, it is important that the right expectations are given in advance. You can:
- Read stories where the people go to the optician.
- Describe possible activities such as to look at pictures or E-boards.
- Explain that there are no wrong answers to the optician’s questions.
- Good vision habits begin early. Find an optician for your child, or ask your optician for more tips.
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