A: A child’s first eye exam should occur during his or her first year, typically between 6 and 12 months. The American Optometric Association has a program when optometrists offer free initial exams to infants in their first year. If there are no issues detected during that exam, then they recommend the next exam at 3 years old.
We follow that same guideline, and then recommend yearly exams after age 3. This allows us to track visual development and catch any vision issues before they could potentially impact a child’s reading or learning. We also can track eye health to watch for things such as diabetes, high blood pressure and various eye diseases at an early stage.
As part of the new health care law, starting Jan. 1, 2014, all children will have a covered yearly vision exam through their medical insurance, if they do not already have one. This is similar to the covered well-visits already in place for yearly physicals. Most people plan their regularly scheduled dental cleanings to prevent tooth decay and to protect their teeth. We are here to do the same for your eyes’ vision, and you use your eyes much more than you use your teeth. With school starting, call us today to make sure your child’s eyes are ready for the year ahead and to ensure their health for years to come.
Information provided by Dr. Erik Romsdahl, Child and Family Vision Center, 2525 N. Ankeny Blvd., Suite 109, Ankeny, 964-7541.