During the infant and toddler years, your child has been developing many vision skills and has been learning how to see. In the preschool years, this process continues, as your child develops visually guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills, and the visual motor skills necessary to learn to read.
Complete Eye Care recommends that you watch for signs that may indicate a vision development problem. This could include a short attention span (for the child’s age), difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination in activities such as ball play or bike riding, or avoiding detail oriented activities such as coloring and puzzles.
There are everyday things that you can do to help your preschooler’s vision develop as it should. Read aloud to your child and let him or her see what you are reading. Provide a chalkboard, finger paints and different shaped blocks and show your child how to use them in imaginative play. Also, create opportunities for interaction with other children as well as independent play.
With most children, the first thorough optometric eye examination is performed by age three to make sure your preschooler’s vision is developing properly and there is no evidence of eye disease. If needed, we can prescribe treatment including glasses and/or vision therapy to correct a vision development problem.
Here are several tips to prepare for your child’s exam at Complete Eye Care:
Make an appointment early in the day. Allow for about one hour.
Talk about the examination in advance and encourage your child’s questions.
Explain the examination in your child’s terms, comparing the E chart to a puzzle and the instruments to tiny flashlights and a kaleidoscope.
Unless recommended otherwise, your child’s next eye examination should be at age five. By comparing test results of the two examinations, our doctors can tell how well your child’s vision is developing.