Eye Health for Children

Having your child's eyes and vision examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist early in their visual development is the best way to assess possible health issues before they become more serious. This is why it is encouraged that parents not wait until their children report a vision problem to see a vision specialist. Visual skills continue to develop throughout childhood but are more easily treated the earlier they are detected. With some visual skills reaching full development at about 5 years of age, correction after this point can become more difficult. Therefore it is vital for parents to schedule regular eye examinations as recommended by their pediatrician, their eye care professional and the American Optometric Association.

Signs your child might be experiencing visual problems

  • Squinting
  • Holding books close to face when reading
  • Eyes pointing in different directions
  • Twisting or tilting of the head to favor one eye
  • Complaints of headaches and dizziness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Frequent blinking or rubbing of eyes
  • Inability to judge distance properly (bumbing into things)
  • Poor school and athletic performance

Common Vision Problems

  • Near & Far Sight
  • Blocked Tear Ducts
  • Strabismus (crossed eyes)
  • Amblyopia (decreased sight)
  • Eye Inquiries
  • Seasonal Eye Allergies
  • Pink Eye
  • Stye

Recommended Eye Examination Frequency

An annual eye exam is one of the most important diagnostic and preventative measures you can take to protect your vision and health. The American Optometric Association recommends the following examination guideline for early detection.

recommended eye examination Frequency
Birth to 24 months By 6 months of age or as recommended
2 to 5 years At 3 years of age
5 to 19 years Annually

UV Protection for Children

Children may not be as interested as adults are in the fashion aspect of sunglasses. However, they need sun protection just as much as adults do and sometimes even more, since they are spending more time playing outdoors and in direct sunlight and are therefore more susceptible to harmful UV rays. The sun can do as much damage to your eyes as it can to your skin. This is especially true for children, whose risk is higher because the lens in their eye doesn't filter as much UV light because they spend so much time outside.

Some important tips before you send your child out to play:

UV rays are greatest when the sun is at its highest in the sky between 10 am and 4pm.

Exposure is greatest from May through August in the United States.

UV levels are greater in wide open spaces, especially when highly reflective surfaces are present, like snow and sand.

Polarized Protection and Children

The polarization of light occurs when light is reflected off of certain surfaces such as snow, cement and water. This means that vertical light waves are absorbed while horizontal light waves bounce off the surface, creating glare.

Some important facts about polarized protection:

Polarized lenses reduce glare, provide 100% protection from harmful UV rays, increase visual acuity and decrease eye strain.

Children can benefit greatly from polarized lenses because they are frequently exposed to considerable sources of reflected glare and harmful UV rays during outdoor activities.

Getting into the routine of wearing protective sunglasses should begin at a young age and is encouraged as a life-long habit.

Prescription sunglasses are available for children with corrective lenses to help protect their eyes. Trivex and Transitions lenses are also excellent choices.

Blue Light Protection

Blue Light comes from outdoor sunlight, but can also come from digital devices like:
laptops, tablets and cell phones.

Smart Screen examples

Visionworks Smart Screen lenses offer 45% Blue Light reduction, which is 3x more filtration than standard plastic lenses.

Smart Screen logo


The optomap ultra-wide digital retinal imaging system captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic image. Traditional methods typically reveal only 10-15% of your retina at one time. The unique optomap ultra-view view enhances your eye doctor's ability to detect even the earliest sign of disease that appears on your retina.

The optomap ultra-wide digital retinal imaging system helps you and your eye doctor make informed decisions about your eye health and overall well-being.

Nothing on this web site is intended, nor should it be construed, as professional advice. Those reviewing the information should consult with a qualified professional. Most doctors inside or next to Visionworks stores are independent and own their own practice. Doctors in some locations may be employed by Visionworks