Your child has just started school, and she’s having a hard time reading—or even focusing for long periods of time. You start to wonder what the problem is; she’s never seemed to have problems before. Perhaps it’s just school? Well, you should definitely take her in to have her eyes checked.
Isn’t She Too Young to Need to Visit an Optometrist?
The answer is simple: no. It is recommended that children actually have their first eye exam at 6 months of age and then again at 3 and 5 or 6 right before starting school. After that they should be having exams every other year. The appointments will need to be annually if your child actually does need corrective lenses.
What Are Some Symptoms of Vision Problems in My Child?
If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with an optometrist soon. Let the doctor know your child’s medical history and what behaviors they are exhibiting, as this can help with the diagnosis. Some symptoms of vision problems include:
- Lack of focus
- Eye rubbing
- Inability to keep eye contact
- Struggle to hold a fixed gaze
- Excessive blinking
- Delayed development of motor skills
How Can I Prepare My Child for the Appointment?
The best way to prepare your child is to tell her exactly what will happen at the appointment. Explain that the room will be darker and go through some of the activities that the optometrist might do. Even if your child is old enough to communicate verbally, you will almost definitely be in the room with her, so let her know that she will not be alone. A successful appointment depends on the comfort of your child, so we will work together to do all we can to ensure a good environment.
And don’t worry about your child not being able to read or know her letters. Those famous posters won’t be a stumbling block for her. Most optometrists should have a Lea Symbols chart, where your child will need to identify symbols, shapes, and objects instead of letters.
If your child is due for her upcoming optometrist appointment or you are worried that she might need glasses, please come see Dr. Tantisira today!