Children aren’t always able to tell us how well they are seeing. Even if your child can read the smallest letters on an eye chart, they may have hidden issues. Schools routinely offer vision screening, but it rarely checks for things like how the focusing system (accommodation) is working, quality of depth perception, or how the eyes work together and ocular health is an afterthought. The majority of school tasks require a child to see well both near and far away as well as comfortably focus between the two.
For that reason, our doctors recommend comprehensive children’s eye exams for school age children starting the summer before they enter kindergarten. The exam is a bit different than for adults but accomplishes the same things through puzzles and games, as well as ends with a visit to our treasure box.
We have a dedicated space for them in optical and the waiting area to help make your kids feel comfortable and a staff that looks forward to welcoming them to their appointment. Many children see well, but if they do need glasses, our optical has many frame styles specially made for them. Our doctors also fit children as young as 8 years old with contact lenses.
What’s Involved in Children’s Eye Exams
- Visual acuity (how well the eyes see at near and far)
- Eye tracking ability (reading movement)
- How the eyes work together as a team (eye turns)
- Ocular focusing ability (accommodative issues/fatigue from screen time)
- Color vision
- Depth perception (3-D vision)
- Inequality of the two eyes (amblyopia a.k.a. “lazy eye”)
- Ocular health issues
- Need for glasses or contact lenses
Many common problems can be addressed during our Children’s Eye Exams, but some children require additional testing or further follow ups for less common visual deficits.
For additional information on Children’s Eye Exams or if you have questions, please contact our office at (816) 524-8900 or email us at EyecareLS@EyecareLS.com and our staff will be happy to assist you.
Free InfantSEE Eye Exam
Our doctors provide evaluations of infants ages 6 to 12 months at no charge as part of a nationwide program to reduce the occurrence of preventable eye issues later if life. Our doctors have specific times set aside for these evaluations with appointment times between 9 and 3 most days (because of this, the online scheduler doesn’t work well for these appointments, please call or email for an appointment).
We have a large selection of frames for kids and a dedicated area in optical just for them. Stop by today and our knowledgeable staff will help you find the right pair of glasses for your child. No appointment needed, you’re welcome any time!
Detecting vision problems early in life can prevent and reduce the threat of serious vision impairment.
Eyecare Associates participates in the InfantSEE program. The American Optometric Association encourages parents to include a trip to the optometrist in the list of well-baby check-ups. Assessments at six to twelve months of age can determine healthy development of vision. Early detection of eye conditions is the best way to ensure your child has healthy vision for successful development.
Why do you suggest getting the eyes tested at 6 months?
Clinical experience and research have shown that at 6 months, the average child has reached a number of critical developmental milestones, making this an appropriate age for the first eye and vision assessment. Many visual abilities are fully functioning by the age of 6 months. Interference with development during this very critical phase may lead to serious lifelong effects on vision. Successful treatment can be obtained more quickly with early intervention.
The good news about a trip to the optometrist is that there are no shots or cold stethoscopes. While the doctor will be shining a light in the baby’s eyes, and may spray a mist on eyelids or use eye drops to dilate the baby’s pupils, many infants seem to enjoy the “games” they play as part of the professional assessment. More information about what optometrists look for during assessments is available on the InfantSEE website.