Clear vision and healthy eyes are critical to your child’s development. Children rely on their vision to learn; both at home and at school, so an undiagnosed vision problem could hinder their ability to learn effectively.

Children should undergo a comprehensive eye exam yearly, or as recommended by your optometrist or as recommended by your optometrist. These exams allow your child’s optometrist to detect and track small changes in their vision and eye health, which may indicate that something is wrong.

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Childhood Vision Problems

Children are not always able to effectively communicate that something is wrong, and may not even be aware that they are experiencing vision problems. To help ensure your child’s eyes get the care they need, it is crucial for parents, and other caregivers, to look for signs of any issues.

Your child may be experiencing vision problems if they:

  • Complain of blurry vision, double vision, or frequent headaches
  • Sit too close to the whiteboard or television
  • Blink excessively
  • Frequently rub their eyes
  • Squint a lot
  • Have a misaligned eye
  • Frequently tilt their head when looking at things
  • Avoid reading or other near vision activities
  • Often lose their place while reading
  • Need to use their finger as a guide while reading

If you suspect that your child might be experiencing vision problems, please make an appointment as soon as possible.

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommend that children have their first eye exam between the ages of six and nine months old. Children should visit their optometrist again at least once more between the ages of two and five years old, and may have their eyes examined annually once they start school.

All children 19 and under living in Ontario are entitled to an annual, comprehensive eye exam and any follow-up care free of charge. This coverage is provided by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). The use of some additional technologies to safeguard your children’s vision may be recommended by your optometrist at a reasonable fee.