Pediatric Eye Care: Does My Infant Need An Eye Exam?

Pediatric Eye Care: Does My Infant Need An Eye Exam?

As a parent, you want the best for your child, and you do everything you can to ensure your child is happy and healthy. One aspect of your baby’s health that you may not think about right away is their vision. While babies are born with the ability to see, their eyesight continues to develop throughout their childhood. This is why pediatric eye care is important, and why children’s eye exams for infants are necessary. The Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) says children should have their first eye exam between the ages of 6 and 9 months, then at least once between the ages of 2 and 5 years of age. This initial exam is critical because it can help identify any potential vision issues early, before they become more serious.

Are you concerned about the cost of children’s eye exams?
All eye exams for children under 18 are covered by the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

Children’s Eye Exams For Infants

One of the main reasons to get your infant's eyes checked is to rule out the presence of any serious eye conditions. For example, some babies are born with congenital cataracts, which can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. Other conditions that can affect infants' eyesight include strabismus (crossed eyes) and amblyopia (lazy eye). Early detection of these conditions can lead to better outcomes, so it's important to get your child checked as soon as possible.

Another reason to get an eye exam for your infant is to monitor their vision development. Even if there are no obvious problems with their eyesight, it's still important to make sure that their vision is developing properly. During the exam, the eye doctor will check for things like visual acuity (sharpness of vision), eye tracking and alignment, and depth perception. They may also use special equipment to look inside the eye and check for any abnormalities.

It's important to note that a comprehensive eye exam for an infant is not the same as a regular eye exam for an adult. For example, the eye doctor will use special techniques to check an infant's eyes, such as using lights or toys to get the child's attention. The exam may also be shorter than a typical adult eye exam since infants are less likely to sit still for long periods of time.

If the eye doctor does detect any issues with your infant's eyesight, they may recommend eyeglasses or other treatments to help correct the problem. For example, if your child has amblyopia, they may need to wear an eye patch over their stronger eye to encourage the weaker eye to work harder. If they have a refractive error (such as nearsightedness or farsightedness), they may need eyeglasses to correct it.

In some cases, the eye doctor may recommend more frequent eye exams for your child. For example, if they are at higher risk for certain eye conditions (such as if they were born prematurely), they may need to be checked more often. Your eye doctor will be able to provide more specific recommendations based on your child's individual needs.

Pediatric Eye Care For Your Infants Whole Health

Pediatric eye care is important for your child's overall health and development. While it may seem daunting to take your infant to an eye exam, it's a necessary step to ensure that their vision is developing properly and to catch any potential issues early on. If you have any concerns about your child's eyesight, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with an optometrist.

A children's eye exam is important to your child’s overall eye health. Conditions such as amblyopia, strabismus, refractive errors, accommodative disorders, nystagmus, convergence insufficiency, colour blindness, diplopia, ptosis, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, optic nerve disorders, macular degeneration, and dry eye syndrome are screened for during a children's eye exam. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can prevent long-term visual problems.

Book your child’s next eye exam with Specs in the City, where your child’s eyes will be examined by our expert optometrists in a comfortable environment. Contact us today at 403-252-2020 or through our online contact form


Q: At what age should children have their first eye exam?
A: Children should have their first eye exam at 6 months of age, then at 3 years of age, and again before they start school. Regular eye exams are recommended every 2 years, or more often if recommended by an eye doctor.

Q: How is a children’s eye exam conducted?
A: Children’s eye exams are non-invasive and will not cause any discomfort. The eye doctor will examine the eye and take imaging for a more detailed look. Depending on the age of the child, the optometrist may ask them questions to answer. If the child is too young or too nervous to be alone during an eye exam, a parent or guardian may accompany the child.

Q: What if my insurance doesn’t cover optical?
A: Children’s eye exams are covered by the Alberta government, so you won’t have to pay for any pediatric eye exams. If you need frames for your young child, Specs in the City is a part of the EYE SEE… EYE LEARN program, providing kindergarten children with free eyeglasses. To take advantage of this effort to reduce the barrier of cost when it comes to vision care, simply book an appointment with our SE Calgary optometrist and let them know you would like to take part in Eye See … Eye Learn. It’s that easy!

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