Should Parents Test Their Child’s Eyesight at Home?

Checking eyes and vision is an important part of your children’s health care as they grow. But this should not be done at home. As a parent, you can help your child most by making sure he or she gets appropriate eye care by trained professionals throughout their childhood.

Vision problems that are left undetected and untreated may lead to vision loss and in some cases blindness. It is possible for your child to have a serious vision problem, and you and your child may not know it. Early detection is the key to minimizing vision loss. Regular vision screenings and eye exams conducted by trained professionals are the only sure way to detect vision problems and get treatment.  The best way to support your child’s vision health is to:

  1. Make sure your child’s healthcare provider, educator, or public health program completes regular vision screenings.
  2. Take your child to an eye doctor (optometrist or ophthalmologist) if they do not pass a vision screening, if they are at increased risk of a vision problem due to developmental delay, medical condition, or a family history of vision problems, or if you have a concern about your child’s vision
  3. Follow all treatment recommendations the eye doctor prescribes for your child- including eye glasses, wearing an eye patch, medications, and/or surgical recommendations.

Parents are the key to ensuring healthy vision for their children. But as a parent, you should not take on the role of vision screener or health care provider.  Connect with the professionals who are trained and ready to meet your child’s vision health needs. 

Vision Screenings

Vision screenings are a part of all healthcare visits for children through the age of 6 years, and then occur periodically at healthcare visits until your child is 18 years old.  Vision screenings generally also occur in childcare settings, through public health programs, or in educational settings (preschool, elementary, middle, and high school grades depending on your state requirements and school district policy).

Vision screenings that occur in each of these settings should be conducted by individuals who have completed a training course in children’s vision screening and are skilled in the identification of possible vision problems which are common in children as well as screening methodologies which are age and developmentally appropriate. This special training leads to improved vision screening results and better education for parents on the next steps they should take to support their child’s vision health.

Prevent Blindness and Your Child's Sight

Prevent Blindness works to make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy a lifetime of healthy vision, starting in infancy and continuing through adulthood. Find out more about how we help children see well to learn and grow.

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