When Should Your Child Have Their First Eye Exam?

You may not think about your child's vision as often as other aspects of their health, but it plays a vital role in their overall development. Understanding the stages of children's vision development can help you monitor their progress and identify potential problems early.

Common Eye Conditions in Children

Children and vision are two topics that go hand-in-hand, especially as your child grows and starts exploring the world. However, several common eye conditions can affect children. One of the most common eye conditions in children is refractive errors, which include nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions occur when the eye doesn't bend light correctly, leading to blurry vision. 

Another common condition is lazy eye or amblyopia, where one eye doesn't develop as it should, causing the brain to favor the other eye. Strabismus, or crossed eyes, is also common in children. This condition occurs when the eyes don't align properly, leading to double vision or eye strain.

The Impact of Vision on Learning and Development

Your child's ability to see clearly can have a profound impact on their learning and development. About 80% of your child's learning is visual, making good vision crucial for their academic success.

If your child is struggling to see clearly, they may find it challenging to keep up with their peers in the classroom. Reading, writing, and even participating in sports can become difficult tasks, leading to frustration and a lack of self-confidence. Poor vision can also affect your child's social skills, as they may struggle to interpret facial expressions and body language.

The Importance of Early Detection of Vision Problems

The early detection of vision problems in children is crucial for a multitude of reasons. Primarily, it allows for immediate treatment, which can prevent a minor issue from becoming a significant problem.

Regular eye exams can help spot common eye conditions before they start affecting your child's daily life. By improving their vision, you can enhance their academic performance and boost their self-confidence.

When to Schedule Your Child's First Eye Exam?

According to the American Optometric Association, your child's first comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled when they are six months old. This initial exam can help detect any major vision problems that may affect your child's development.

Additional eye exams should be scheduled at age three and just before they start school, around age five or six. From then on, annual eye exams are recommended to monitor your child's vision and detect any changes or problems early.

However, if you notice any signs of vision problems such as squinting, frequent eye rubbing, or difficulties with coordination, don’t wait for the next scheduled exam. Instead, make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible to address these issues.


Your child's vision is an essential component of their overall health. By taking the time to understand and care for their eyes, you can help ensure they have the best possible start in life.

Schedule your child’s first eye exam today and set them on the path to clear sight and success, visit Family Vision Clinic at our office in Wilmington, North Carolina. Please call (910) 392-4414 to book an appointment today.