Children's Eye Exams? Taking Care Of Tiny Tots Early

Have you taken your child in for their first eye exam? Just as taking care of your children's teeth is important for proper growth and children's well-being, so too is taking care of your tiny tot's vision. Children eye exams are not anything to be worried about.

When To Take Your Child In For An Eye Exam

Children may start experiencing vision problems as early as preschool. In fact, some studies suggest up to 10% of preschoolers may have visual disturbances. The problem with this is most young children may have difficulty communicating any vision problems. For most, “not” seeing normal may seem normal, only because children do not know what to expect when it comes to their eyesight.

Most children will have an eye exam in school around kindergarten or first grade. The American Optometric Association however, suggests parents should take their children in for their first official eye exam by six months old. While that seems young, the earlier you start caring for your child’s vision, the better.

School Vision Exams Vs. A Visit To The Optometrist

Even though your child may have a normal vision test at school, keep in mind these vision exams are basic. You should plan to visit a formal optometrist or other specialist for a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years. A full eye exam will test your child’s near and distance vision, eye movement, focusing ability and peripheral awareness.

Signs Of Eye Problems In Children

It is important as a parent you recognize some early warning signs of vision problems in children. Young children often cannot verbalize what is going on with their eyesight. Here are some warning signs your child may have a vision problem:

  • Frequent straining to see things.
  • Poor eye/hand coordination.
  • Frequent eye rubbing.
  • Lazy eye.
  • Problems in school.
  • Difficulty keeping eye contact.
  • Frequent squinting or tilting of head to see.
  • Tearing.
  • Frequent headaches.
  • Use of finger or other tool to read.

Any or all of these signs may help alert you to possible vision problems early on. You can then work with your healthcare provider to help your child find a suitable pair of lenses.

Remember, your child’s eyesight is important for their health and well-being. Be sure you start vision exams early to help protect and preserve your child’s health. If you do encounter a vision problem, don’t fret. Most doctors can easily address vision problems in young children with corrective lenses or minor adjustments. If your child requires eyeglasses, fortunately these days there are many fashionable and fun eyeglasses your child can select from.

Here are some other tips on helping your child select glasses that look good and fit well:

  • Younger children may need special cable temples that wrap around the entire ear to prevent glasses from slipping off.
  • If your child chooses metal frames, make sure they are hypoallergenic, to avoid allergic reactions.
  • Choose impact-resistant polycarbonate plastic for lenses to protect against breakage.
  • Ask for lenses that have been chemically treated to shut out ultraviolet rays while also resisting scratches. If your child’s eyes are sensitive to strong sunlight, choose lens material that has been treated to reduce glare.

Children’s Frames

Children’s eyewear, like children themselves, has become more sophisticated.

Kids want their glasses to be just like those worn by their tween, teen, and adult friends and family. Want to know what frames kids crave? Hit the mall and check out what teens are wearing. According to many dispensers, children view teenagers as the reference point for what’s cool. Kids want whatever teenagers are wearing. And name brands are important to them. One way to ensure that kids will love their new eyewear is to use color and face shape analysis when helping select their frames.

Grown-ups want their children’s eyewear to be safe, durable, and affordable. Frame manufacturers are addressing kids’ needs through the use of more subtle colors and shapes. And they’re making mom and dad content by using durable materials and spring hinges, yet keeping the cost of eyewear down.

Kids look at fashion as an important part of who they are, and that of course spills over into the eyewear they choose. Two trends that have been emerging in adult frames recently have also become prominent in the youth market. Colors are getting more daring, and temples are featuring more details such as laminations, laser etching, and embellishments.

The color palette of kids’ eyewear stretches across a wider range than ever before. Brighter, as well as more interesting tones, are becoming more apparent in kids’ eyewear.

Regardless of the age group, today’s eyewear for the younger set is definitely branching out and getting away from classic “kid styling.” The hottest trends in eyewear for kids and teens include novel interpretations of hip adult fashions.