It’s very important for toddlers and infants to have the best possible vision as much of their ongoing learning and healthy development is intimately connected with having correct eyesight. Although all smaller children have regular check-ups on their eyes as a part of their overall developmental checks, these are not as thorough as the screening provided by professional optometrists. For this reason, it’s really important to get your child along to the high street optician at an early age.
Eye tests for toddlers
Take your child to a professional optician at around about the age of three. If you leave it for much longer than this, there’s a chance that learning difficulties will develop as a result of uncorrected eye problems. If any are found, there will be a better chance of nipping them in the bud.
What to expect in the optician’s test room
The tests that will be carried out in the optometrist’s room are entirely comfortable, and the procedures are designed for easy and stress-free treatment of young children. The first eye examination is always something of a trial simply because you don’t know what to expect, but once you see how professional, experienced and caring the specialist is, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
First of all, you’ll be asked about any family history of glaucoma or other eye conditions, and whether you’ve noticed your child experiencing any difficulties whilst playing or trying to focus on distant objects.
At the Opticians, a number of simple tests will be performed, depending on your child’s age. The optician will use various techniques to check your child’s eyes, but essentially each eye will be tested on its own and then in conjunction with the other eye to make sure that they’re working properly together. As a child of three or four will hardly be able to explain whether they’re experiencing any problems in vision, an instrument called a retinoscope is used to measure light reflected from the back of the eye to determine issues of focus.
Sometimes, parents are worried that their child can’t read yet, and how in that case the eye test can be carried out. However, reading tests are designed for older children and adults; for toddlers, there are different tests. Remember that these are specifically designed for small children, to put them at their ease and to cause minimum discomfort. You’ll be able to hold and comfort your child throughout in surroundings that will be unfamiliar to you both.
Taking a small child to see an optician for the first time can be a scary prospect, for the parent as well as for the child, but there’s really nothing to worry about. You’ll be there all the time to provide comfort when needed, and opticians are trained to deal with small children, and will not expect them to be as proactive as adults in the tests. When the checks are completed, you’ll know either that everything is fine or that potential problems are being professionally addressed.