A comprehensive eye exam performed by a doctor of optometry can reveal if your child’s eyes are developing and coordinating properly.
Eye coordination is one of the many skills that we develop as children, and is something we as parents can help our children with, by actively playing games that promote the development of visual skills and by taking our children for routine eye exams.
Tips to ensure healthy eye development
- 0-6 Months: Take your child in for a compressive eye exam performed by a doctor of optometry.
Optometrists recommend children have their first eye exam at six months of age and then annually until they’re adults. During your child’s first eye exam, a doctor of optometry assesses your child’s visual abilities, ensuring the eyes are properly aligned, free of congenital cataracts and developing normally.
- 1-2 Years: Play games that help your child develop good hand-eye coordination, depth perception and visual skills. Between ages one and two, it’s important for a child to develop good hand-eye coordination and depth perception. Playing with building blocks or balls, sorting shapes and sizes, and fitting or assembling pieces are all activities that can help improve these essential visual skills.
- 3-5 Years: Play games that encourage fine motor skill development and visual thinking.
Between ages three and five, it’s important for a child to begin to develop fine motor and visual thinking skills. Fine motor activities include bead stringing or painting. Visual thinking skills include comparing two images to find slight differences or recognizing patterns.
Children may display characteristics that may indicate poor eye coordination including:
- covering one eye;
- head tilting;
- skipping lines or losing their place while reading;
- poor sports performance;
- avoiding tasks that require close work; and
- tiring easily.
Protect your child’s vision. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an eye exam with a doctor of optometry. To find an optometrist near you visit: doctorsofoptometry.ca.