Toddlers and Preschoolers Eye Care

It’s important to check the visual development of toddlers and preschoolers.

How often should toddlers and pre-schoolers receive an eye exam?

Doctors of optometry recommend children have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five, and then one eye exam every year after that.

Your child’s first eye exam should happen between six and nine months of age.

What do optometrists check during an eye exam for toddlers and preschoolers?

During an eye exam for toddlers and preschoolers, your Alberta optometrist will check to ensure visual development is continuing normally, and their depth perception, eye-hand coordination and visualization skills are appropriate for their age. While your child may not be able to read an eye chart, your optometrist uses special equipment to ensure your child’s vision is correct.

Alberta eye exam coverage for toddlers and preschoolers

There is Alberta Health coverage towards annual eye exams for children until their 19th birthday.

Toddlers’ and preschoolers’ eyes are in the development stage

How toddlers develop visualization skills

Children at age two enjoy listening to and looking at storybooks. It helps them develop visualization skills and prepares them for learning to read.

At this stage of their development, toddlers also like to paint, draw and colour, sort shapes and sizes, and fit or assemble pieces. These activities are all integral to their visual development.

Preschoolers and television eye safety

Preschoolers’ eyes are not ready for prolonged or intense concentration at short distances. When watching television, they should sit further away than five times the screen’s width and take periodic breaks from staring at the screen.

Digital eye strain and children

The recommended screen time for children two to five years is one hour per day to help prevent the adverse effects of digital eye strain.

Protecting your child’s eyes from the sun

Protecting your child’s eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation is just as important as putting on sunscreen to protect their skin, and it is an issue through every season of the year.

The glare from snow can be just as harmful as the glare from water. Many age-related eye diseases may be partially caused by UV exposure throughout your life. Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to UV radiation.

Speak to your optometrist about the best options for our child. In addition to appropriate sunglasses, wearing a wide-brimmed hat or baseball cap can provide further protection.

Your Alberta optometrist is a skilled professional

  • Alberta optometrists have specialized education. They complete a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree from an accredited university.
  • Alberta optometrists are experts who play an important role in the vision, eye health, and overall health of your family.

Alberta optometrists are trained to:

  • Treat, manage and correct disorders and diseases of the visual system, the eye and its associated structures.
  • Recognize and detect related systemic conditions and manage ocular manifestations.
  • Diagnose, treat and manage binocular and perceptual vision disorders.
  • Prescribe any topical or oral Schedule 1 drug in the context of eye care.
  • Remove superficial foreign bodies from the eye in or below the surface of the cornea.
  • Plus, the independent management of glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy.
  • Alberta optometrists provide primary eye care.