Children need eye exams too, and, according to a new paper published in Pediatrics it is important that they get checked before they start school. The US Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend that kids visit an eye doctor at least once between ages 3 and 5. There is some debate as to whether exams for children between 1 and 3 are beneficial and likely to uncover problems.
The main concern is amblyopia, often called “lazy eye.” It affects 2-4% of preschool children and is optimally treated, often with eye patching, between ages 3 and 5. Tests also rule out strabismus and refractive errors.
There has been some professional debate regarding the efficacy of testing young children’s eyes, but there seems to be some consensus that newer testing technology does make these early exams a good idea.