When to Get Your Child's Vision Tested

As a parent, you always want what’s best for you baby. When it comes to different developmental milestones, you want to make sure your little ones is on track – or take action if they’re not. An important one that is often overlooked is vision development. Getting your baby's eyes checked and vision tested is crucial for identifying any potential problems early on.

The American Optometric Association recommends infants get their first eye exam between 6-12 months. During this exam doctors will check for a variety of potential problems that can lead to developmental delays if not caught early as well as check the overall health of your baby’s eyes.

It's especially important to have your baby's eyes examined if there is a family history of childhood vision problems or if you notice signs that your baby may be struggling to see.

Signs of Eye & Vision Problems:

  • Eyes That Cross or Wander
  • Excessive Tearing
  • Red or Encrusted Eyelids
  • Extreme Sensitivity to Light
  • Eyes that Don't Focus Together
  • Lack of Interest in Faces or Toys

There are many thing’ parents can do to help their baby's vision develop properly. Check out these tips that parents can do to help with your child’s vison development from the American Optometric Association:

Birth - 4 Months

  • Use a nightlight or other dim lamp in the baby's room.
  • Change the crib's position frequently and change the child's position in it.
  • Keep reach-and-touch toys within the baby's focus, about eight to twelve inches.
  • Talk to the baby while walking around the room.
  • Alternate right and left sides with each feeding.

5 - 8 months

  • Give the baby plenty of time to play and explore on the floor.
  • Provide plastic or wooden blocks that can be held in the hands.
  • Play patty cake and other games, moving the baby's hands through the motions while saying the words aloud.

9 -12 months

  • Play hide and seek games with toys or your face to help the baby develop visual memory.
  • Name objects when talking to encourage the baby's word association and vocabulary development skills.
  • Encourage crawling and creeping.

1 - 2 years

  • Roll a ball back and forth to help the child track objects with the eyes visually.
  • Give the child building blocks and balls of all shapes and sizes to play with to boost fine motor skills and small muscle development.
  • Read or tell stories to stimulate the child's ability to visualize and pave the way for learning and reading skills.

If your pediatrician doesn't perform vision testing, schedule an appointment with an optometrist. Early testing allows eye doctors to detect problems before they progress and ensure your baby's vision is on track. Don't delay, schedule your baby's first eye screening today!

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