Preparing for Your Child's Eye Exam

Seeing clearly is key to a child’s development. As such, The American Optometric Associations recommends that children have their first eye exam at six months, then at age 3, again before starting school, and then every year following.

We know that you, as parents, will likely have questions about your child’s eye exam, so we’ve compiled questions and answers to help you be prepared.

child eye exam

What should I tell my child about the exam so they aren’t scared?

It is common for children to be nervous about a doctor’s visit, especially if they don’t know what to expect. If your child is old enough, talk through the examination with them so they have a better idea of what will happen.

Explain how the optometrist or ophthalmologist will likely put drops in their eye, but that it won’t hurt. Let them know that there could be some waiting while the dilating drops take effect.

What should I bring to my child’s appointment?

You will want to be sure you have:

  • Child’s medical history
  • Family history of vision problems or eye disease
  • List of symptoms or signs of eye strain of vision problems your child has (if applicable)
  • Child’s favorite toy (for comfort)
  • Sunglasses to protect the child’s eyes after dilation

If you have specific questions or concerns before your child’s appointment, contact your eye care provider.

The information contained above is intended to be educational in nature, does not constitute medical advice, and should not be relied on as a substitute for actual professional medical advice, care or treatment. If you have any vision, dental or other health related concerns, VBA encourages you to immediately contact your optometrist/ophthalmologist, dentist/orthodontist or any other competent, licensed, medical professional.