When and Why: A Simple Guide to the Essential Eye Tests for Your Children

Aug 16, 2023 | Eye health

As parents and caregivers, we want the best for our children, and taking care of their eyes is an important part of that.You might wonder, ‘When should I take my child to the optometrist for the first time?’ or ‘How often do they need a check-up?’ Every child is different, but this article provides a helpful guide about when and how to care for your children’s eyes.

From Birth to Two Years Old: Babies’ eyes change a lot in the first six months. They’re too young for a full eye exam, but we still need to make sure there aren’t any serious eye problems.

  • What You Should Do:
    • Attend all the recommended check-ups with your maternal and child health nurse.
    • If you see anything strange with their eyes, ask your family doctor, nurse, or optometrist/ophthalmologist for help.
  • Tips for visit to Optometrist/ Ophthalmologist:
    • Make sure your child is not sleepy and not hungry. This will help us to get their best cooperation during the assessment.
    • If you can, take pictures of anything unusual with their eyes that you have noticed to show the optometrist.

adrian & eve eye test

Age Two to Five Years Old: This is a good age to visit the optometrist for the first time to catch vision problems like lazy eyes early and treat before they cause irreversible impact on the development of children’s vision.

  • How to Prepare for the first eye test:
    • Play games at home that help your child understand what to expect at the eye test. Shape matching games and tracing games are very helpful.
    • You can pretend to check their eyes at home. Cover each eye for a very short time can help them become comfortable with the eye test.
    • If you can, take pictures of anything unusual that you have noticed to show the optometrist.

Eye test for school age kids

Age Six to Nine Years Old: When kids start school, there is so much visual learning involved in reading and writing that their eyes might start to have trouble keeping up with all their learning needs. Sometimes, they might even need a special eye check-up called a behaviour optometry assessment to assess how well their visual learning is integrated and processed in learning. Click to learn more about behaviour optometry. 

Focus of Eyecare: For kid between 6 to 9 years old, we check their eyes every year to watch the development of their eyes and make sure that nothing is getting in the way of their learning.

Eye test for teens.

Age Ten to Eighteen Years Old: Older kids are busy with school and extracurricular activities, so their eyes need regular check-ups to make sure that their vision is keeping up with their needs.

  • What We Check For:
    • Eye strain from a lot of reading and time spent in front of computer/devices. Click to find out more about eye strain in children. 
    • Problems with how the eyes work together.
    • Short-sightedness, especially if they study a lot.
    • Health of the eyes.
    • We recommend an eye test every 12 months.

Common Problems with Kids’ Eyes:

  • Short-Sightedness: Trouble seeing things far away. Click to read more about short-sightedness.
  • Far-Sightedness: Need to strain more to see things up close.
  • Astigmatism: Things look blurry or wavy.
  • Lazy Eye: One eye doesn’t see as well.
  • Crossed Eyes: Eyes that look in different directions.
  • Pink Eye: Red and itchy eyes.
  • Droopy Eyelid: One eyelid hangs down, which can block vision if it’s bad.


Conclusion: Taking care of your child’s eyes as they grow helps with their development, learning and enables them to do well in school and life. Regular visits to the optometrist can catch problems early when they’re easier to fix.Regular visits to
the optometrist can catch problems early to ensure your child has
the best vision to reach their full potential. Book an eye test with one of our friendly,
experienced optometrists today. Book an eye test with one of our friendly, experienced optometrists today.