Eye and Vision Tests for Children and Teens
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists (AAO) recommend that all children have an eye exam during the newborn period and again at all routine well-child visits.1
The U.S. Preventive Screening Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening (tests) to detect lazy eye (amblyopia), misaligned eyes (strabismus), and defects in visual acuity in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years.2
The AAP recommends that vision screening start around age 3 and occur each year at ages 4, 5, and 6. After that, screening should occur at ages 8, 10, 12, 15, and 18.3
The AAO recommends that vision screening start around age 3 and occur each year at ages 4 and 5. After age 5, the AAO recommends screening every other year.4
Vision screening is recommended for infants who were either born at or before 30 weeks, whose birth weight was less than 1500 g (3.3 lb), or who have serious medical conditions. The first screening is recommended between 4 and 7 weeks after birth.5 Any infant with symptoms of eye disease, such as redness or swelling, should be examined by an eye doctor (specialist) as soon as possible.
Children who have refractive errors or have a disease that affects the eyes
Children and teens with a disease that affects the eyes can follow the eye exam and vision testing schedule for all children. It's best that they see an eye doctor (specialist) for their eye care.
At least once a year, most eye doctors want to check the vision of children and teens that have refractive errors that impact their sight. If nearsightedness is severe or quickly gets worse in a child, he or she will need exams more often.
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