Since it's possible for your child to have a vision problem without being aware of it, we encourage parents to bring children in for at least one eye exam before they start kindergarten. This is particularly important if there is a family history of vision problems or if your child displays any of the following: occasional crossing of the eyes, a slight assymetry in eyelid posture, avoidance, fatigue or inattention with reading or school activities, mild headaches, rubbing of the eyes, occasional squinting, or a slight head turn.
Unfortunately children are frequently unable to communicate with their parents or teachers when the vision in one or both eyes isn't normal and healthy. However, if the condition is not corrected by age of 5 or 6, when the connection between the eye and brain becomes fully developed, the bad eye will not have the potential to see 20/20, even with correction. In fact, the American Optometric Association recommends the first eye exam at 6 months. Good habits start early!
Dr. Joel Westrum strongly advocates early examination of all infants and toddlers by an eye doctor in addition to vision screenings with a pediatrician or school nurse. We encourage you to visit Infantsee.org which has honorary spokesperson Former President Jimmy Carter providing some fascinating information on this all too important national issue.