Infants, Toddlers, and School Age Children Infants
Infant’s vision develops and changes quickly during the first few years. Infants are beginning to detect movement and use their visual skills. Early detection and management of vision problems is recommended to provide appropriate vision development and health. Although babies may not be able to read an eye chart, specialized procedures have been developed to allow us to measure the clarity of sight of children at almost any age.
We participate in the InfantSEE program which is dedicated to early detection and treatment of vision problems in infants. A complete evaluation of the visual system in infants is possible through the use of age-appropriate targets and tests. Call our office for more information and to schedule your baby for an appointment.
“The American Optometric Association guidelines recommend that all children have a complete vision and eye health examination at the age of 6 months, 3 years, upon entering kindergarten, and routine vision care (every 2 years) thereafter throughout their school years.” (http://www.aoa.org)
From ages 3 to 6, children are fine-tuning their vision already developed during the infant and toddler years. They are beginning to use their vision to guide other learning experiences. During the preschool years, they need to develop visually guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills and visual motor skills. Because the child’s attention to tasks is longer than infants, more in-depth assessment of the visual system is possible. Even if your child exhibits no symptoms of vision problem, he or she should have a children’s eye exam by the age of 3.
Many vision problems can be corrected more easily with early diagnosis and treatment. Reports have estimated that up to 25% of students in grades K – 6 have vision-related problems, which may contribute to poor school performance. The visual system matures rapidly during the first few years and it is important to identify any problems that may interfere with normal vision development.
If deficiencies are identified early in the child’s academic career, proper treatment can insure that these deficiencies will not hamper the child’s chances for academic success. Routine and regular vision care detects vision problems early allowing prevention of related effects on the development of learning skills.
If a visual dysfunction is part of your child’s learning difficulty, special lenses or vision therapy may help. Should your child’s visual function not be an issue, ask your eye care practitioner for referrals to the appropriate specialists.
Hand – Eye Coordination
As part of the visual examination we also assess vision development. Young children use vision to explore the world by identifying and directing movement. If a problem in vision is preventing adequate development of perception and eye-hand coordination skills then early intervention is vital.