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Pediatric Eye Exams

Eye Exam for Kids

A newborn’s vision is primarily blurry, but the visual system develops over time and is fully formed in the teen years. Learn how to protect your kid’s vision with regular pediatric eye exams as they grow.

Recommended Schedule for Kids Vision Screenings


A doctor should examine a newborn’s eyes to check for fundamental indicators of eye health. It may include testing for:

  • A “red reflex” (like seeing red eyes in a flash photograph). If the bright light shone in each eye does not return a red reflex, more testing may be needed.
  • Blink and pupil response

An Optometrist should do a comprehensive exam if the baby is:

  • Born prematurely
  • Has signs of eye disease
  • Or a family history of childhood eye disease

6 to 12 Months

A second screening should be done during the child’s first year of life. This eye exam is usually done between 6 and 12 months. We will visually inspect the eyes and check for healthy eye alignment and movement

12 to 36 Months

Between 12 and 36 months, a child is checked for healthy eye development and amblyopia (lazy eye).

3 to 5 Years

Between three and five years, a child’s vision and eye alignment should be checked.

Visual acuity (sharpness of vision, like 20/20, for example) is tested as soon as the child is old enough to read an eye chart. Many children are somewhat farsighted (hyperopic) but can also see clearly at a distance. Most children will not require glasses or other vision correction. If the child struggles with the eye chart, photo screening may be used to test vision.

An Optometrist in Calgary will check for signs of:

  • Misaligned eyes (strabismus)
  • “Lazy eye” (amblyopia)
  • Refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism)
  • Or another focusing problem

Begin treatment for these problems as soon as possible—getting early treatment for your child is the best thing you can do to protect their vision.

Five Years and Older

At five years old, children are tested for visual acuity and alignment. Nearsightedness (myopia) is the most common problem in this age group. It is corrected with eyeglasses. An Optometrist in Calgary examines a child for misaligned eyes or signs of other eye problems.

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