When Should I get my Child's eyes tested?

Are you wondering when you need to have your child's eyes should be tested? Or when exactly should your child have an eye test? Don't worry; we’ve got you!

Our Eyes are incredible things that allow us to experience life to its full capacity. With 65% of the population being visual learners this also means we learn by watching with our eyes. For Infants, visual learning is their primary form of learning and is even more critical to help them reach their milestones. 

I often ask friends with kids if they have had their child’s eyes tested and more often than not these parents are surprised that they had to get them tested at such a young age. They always presume that they are ok and are usually booking their kids into the dentist before an eye test. 

Imagine holding up a piece of bubble wrap over your eyes and looking through it. This is what 1 in 4 children with a vision need to see in the first few years of their life before being detected with a Vision Impairment. A child will never complain about their vision as they have been born this way and they don’t know any different. However, these critical delays in picking up vision needs can cause the connection to the eye and brain not to develop correctly and can cause further problems with the eyes working together and therefore reducing the ability to have depth perception. If not detected early enough (usually before the age of 8 years) this can cause long-term impacts on the child’s vision that cannot be fixed with glasses down the track. This is why early eye exams are so important.


Child having eyes tested

So, when should your child's eyes be tested?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, the following age ranges and examinations are done accordingly:

  • Newborn. A doctor usually examines infants to check their basic reflexes such as blinking and their reaction to light. If the baby is born prematurely or if their family has a history of eye disease, it's advised that an ophthalmologist do a comprehensive screening. 


  • 3 to 5 years old. Within this age bracket, a child's eye alignment and vision should be examined. If the child can read and recognize letters, they can also undergo a visual acuity test. There are also lots of other ways the Orthoptist, optometrist, or ophthalmologist can test vision if the child is non-verbal. 

  • Screening for refractive errors, amblyopia (commonly known as “lazy eye,” but we prefer to call it curious eye here at Speckles), strabismus, and other visual impairments is also crucial. 


    • 5 to 6 years and older. At this point, as children begin to read and learn written language, it's crucial that they go through a visual acuity test. During this period, children are also tested for myopia, or commonly known as nearsightedness. Other common vision problems include blurry vision, farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. 

    Slit lamp examination with a child

    With all that being said, other signs that you may notice as a parent that your child might need an eye test are, abnormal head tilt, not progressing through milestones (crawling) as quickly as expected, difficulty reading, sitting close to the TV, difficulty tracking objects with their eyes, and difficulty catching balls and if they tend to fall over or run into walls a bit, this could be a sign of poor vision and depth perception. Please don’t question it and get their eyes tested straight away. 

     It is critical to have your children's eyes examined on a regular basis during their development  and if you as a parent feel something's not quite right with their eyes, just go and get their eyes tested.

    Early detection is the best prevention. 

    If you found this information helpful, please share it with another Mum, Dad, Friend, or Primary school Teacher who you think this could be useful for. 

    And before you go, we would love to hear more from your little one’s vision journey! Join our Speckles Facebook Community here. You can also sign up for our newsletter to receive first-hand information and offers. Share your thoughts with us and say hello on Instagram!