From birth, kids use their eyes to learn. Your child’s eyes undergo many developmental changes as they grow and learn important visual skills.
If your child develops any vision conditions or fails to learn important visual skills as they grow, studies show that they are likely to struggle academically¹ and they are even bound to struggle socially and emotionally².
That’s precisely why pediatric Optometrists like us are so relevant. We offer routine vision screening and eye exams as the best way for parents to ensure their child’s proper eye health and vision development.
As part of the OAO (Ontario Association of Optometrists), Kodak Lens Vision Centres participates in many initiatives, including offering OHIP-covered vision examinations to children aged 3 months, junior kindergarten and up to 19 years old. If your child resides in Ontario, you can claim your free eye exam annually, courtesy of OHIP. Book a consultation with us to get started on your child’s path to healthy vision.
What does an optometrist for kids do?
Optometrists for kids are pediatric eye care specialists who examine and diagnose kids’ eyes for vision conditions. We can determine the best treatment for each specific situation and need.
The examination begins with a series of eye exams that are specific for children’s visual needs. The optometrist will use specialized equipment to assess eye function, vision clarity, and overall eye health before prescribing treatment. A pair of glasses or contact lenses may be considered among other remedies such as myopia management; the right choice will be the one that best fits the child’s needs and lifestyle.
When should you book the first eye exam for your child?
Children should see an Optometrist as early as 6 months of age to a year, according to CAO (Canadian Association of Optometrists), among other organizations like MAO³. After that, you can book an annual eye exam to ensure your child’s vision is healthy and their visual needs are addressed early.
What can you expect from the first visit to a children’s optometrist?
Infants, toddlers, preschool kids, and school-aged kids who visit our child optometrists can expect a comfortable and friendly process. The first visit involves pre-screening done to test basic eye function, consult with parents, and note any potential eye health concerns. After that, we can begin with further testing through a comprehensive eye exam to determine the state of the child’s visual health.
Common problems associated with poor vision
Kids with poor vision face serious learning and social development challenges. Regarding learning, they are bound to fall behind in school because they can’t see distant objects like blackboards or whiteboards. They may also have difficulty learning how to read or participating effectively in class.
Poor vision can also affect after-school activities, which are critical for proper social development. There may also be safety challenges when poor vision impacts a kid to play and have fun because they can not see as well. If you notice this with your child, please contact us.
Signs To Look Out for in Kids
Here are our top 6 signs of vision impairment to look out for in your child:
- Frequent rubbing of eyes and/or blinking
- Avoiding reading and other close activities
- Frequent headaches
- Covering one eye to see or concentrate
- Holding objects like books too close to the face
- Losing place when reading
Common eye problems in infants
Studies suggest that there are several common eye conditions in infants. They include:
- Watery eyes or sticky eyes: This condition is common among newborns signaling inflammation.
- Squinting: Infants may also appear to squint. If excessive, it could be linked to an underlying ocular health condition that requires medical attention.
- Eye swelling: This condition is usually linked to acute allergic reactions and is normally treatable using an oral antihistamine.
- Delayed visual behavior: This condition is characterized by factors like poor reflexes and slow visual maturation, indicating an underlying ocular disease⁴.
If the child presents any of these signs of concern you can book an appointment with us and we’ll help you assess the situation. You can also click here to ask us a question.
What goes into a kid’s eye exam?
If you book an appointment after noticing any signs, your kid will see one of our expert optometrists at Kodak Lens Vision Centre. A pediatric eye exam is comfortable and comprehensive, it involves the following five key vision aspects:
1. Vision acuity
Vision acuity is about how well a child sees. Special eye charts (with symbols and letters of different sizes) are used to test how well a child identifies the symbols and letters.
2. Eye muscle control
Eye muscle control tests focus on the ability of the eyes to move together properly. The most common test is the cover test, where the child is required to cover one eye and look at a specific object. If the uncovered eye moves, this is an indication of an eye muscle control condition. Eye control tests may include other tests for muscle-control-related vision conditions like misalignment and eye structural conditions.
3. Depth perception
This tests the accuracy in detecting how far objects are using two different images/objects, one for each eye. Additional tests can be involved in this process such as a stereopsis test to assess your vision for 3D images and depth perception. If a child has difficulties with 3D vision, it may affect their confidence in their studies, overall school performance and even enjoying sports. 3D vision is also known as stereopsis or depth perception. This is your brain’s ability to see in 3D by uniting the separate images sent to the brain from your two eyes. Reduced 3D vision could be the cause of a lazy eye or an eye turn.
4. Hand-eye coordination
This is about a child’s ability to coordinate their eyes to do basic movements i.e., being able to look at far or near objects, easily able to look left, right, up and down, or simple tasks such as looking in any direction as directed.
5. Colour vision
Colour vision tests focus on a child’s ability to identify colour accurately, as this is important during playing, reading, drawing, painting, colouring and writing. Typical tests present colour plates featuring coloured dots with hidden shapes or numbers in them. An inability to identify those numbers or shapes suggests colour vision deficiency.
Book an appointment with one of our eye doctors for kids at
Kodak Lens Vision Centre
There is a lot that can be discovered in a child’s visual development. To know more about kid’s eye health, book an eye appointment with any of our trusted pediatric Optometrists in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Click here to ask us anything or book an eye exam for your child. Let’s make sure your child’s vision is as healthy as it can be!