Good FamilyParenting

Open Your Eyes to your Child’s Eye Health

Heather van Mil4 comments3050 views
Dr of Optometry

This post is part of the and Doctors of Optometry #FamilyEyeHealth sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.

I was 4 years old when I was diagnosed with amblyopia — lazy eye. I don’t remember the doctor or the encounter. I do remember lots and lots of eye drops. I do remember wearing an eye patch for months on end – long after the fun of being a pirate had worn off. I do remember the giant pink ‘coke bottle’ glasses that followed the eye patch. My mother swears she tried to talk me out of them.

Dr of Optometry
       Kindergarten photo in all my 80’s glory!

I do remember being called four eyes. I remember when we had photo day or big events at school I would conveniently forget my glasses at home. I remember my uncle always being amazed that I could see anything, since the glasses were constantly smudged with food, juice, sunscreen and all the sticky fingered substances that make up childhood. 

Another thing I remember was when my first daughter was born, being completely paranoid about her vision. All babies look cross-eyed at some point but did it mean more in her case?

Luckily I had developed a great relationship with my local doctor of optometry who was fantastic with my kids and incredibly patient with me. It was important to me that my children not have the same experience I did, so we started appointments at a very young age. 

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that infants have their first eye exam between six and nine months of age, while toddlers and preschoolers should have at least one eye exam between the ages of two and five. To some, this may seem young, but vision problems can be detected in children as young as six months and may be corrected if detected and treated early. 

My girls love visiting the doctor of optometry and so far have never had any vision problems, even though 1 in 4 school-age children do. With 80% of learning and development occurring visually, it is essential to ensure that any issues are diagnosed and treated as early as possible. If your child isn’t loving school; if they’re struggling in class and coming home feeling frustrated, it could be related to their vision. Take a look at this short video:

Finding a doctor of optometry close to your home is as simple as a click of the mouse and the peace of mind you’ll receive with the comprehensive eye exam they provide is priceless. 

With school now in session, make sure an eye exam for your kids is at the top of your to-do list!

Did you know that 1 in 4 school-age children actually has a vision problem? Many vision problems have little or no symptoms so if this mom missed the signs, that means you can too

Check out why it’s important to book annual eye visits for your kids (Disclaimer: No puppies were actually hurt in the writing of this article).  

Then open your eyes to the importance of eye health for you and your family.


  1. It is definitely a good idea to start young! My eye sight was so bad in school before I got glasses that I got in trouble for not being able to read the board. And then my brother needed them as soon as school started, but he likely needed them sooner since his prescription was so strong right away.

  2. What about adults suffering with bad eye sight? Equally important. Maybe less people would be suffering from poor eyesight if treatments and eye exams were more affordable. Having to decide what bill not to pay, just to afford an eye exam as an adult is simply unacceptable, however very much a reality.

    1. I agree Lola! Depending on the province or state that you live in, some or all may be covered by government health care and/or medical benefits. I know here in BC, kids are covered but adults have pay out of pocket unless it’s required medically. It should be covered for everyone!

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