Visual abilities play a key role in early development. According to experts, up to 80% of learning is visual, meaning that if your child is having difficulty seeing clearly, their learning may be affected. Here are some frequently asked questions about children’s eye exams.

When should my child have their first eye exam?

The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that infants have their first eye exam between 6 and 9 months old. After that, children should have at least one eye exam before they start school, and annually thereafter. This is critical to ensure optimal visual development. Many serious eye conditions do not have obvious symptoms and when they do, children are often unable to communicate their symptoms effectively.

How much will my child’s eye exam cost?

OHIP covers eye exams for children and teens aged 0 to 19 with a valid Ontario Health Card. The government sees the value in covering annual eye exams for children and we highly encourage you to take advantage of this service. Additional fees may apply if the exam includes digital retinal photography.

My child had a vision screening at school. Is this the same as an eye exam?

Vision screenings are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam! The testing that an optometrist does is very different from the vision screenings that are often performed at schools. Vision screenings detect if there are any major issues with seeing an eye chart, and may also measure a rough estimate of near/farsightedness. A vision screening does not assess the entire visual system, including the health of a child’s eyes, so many vision problems can be missed.

My child does not know the letters on the eye chart yet. Will this be an issue?

No problem! We can complete an exam even if your child is unable to recognize letters or speak in full sentences. We use shapes, pictures, fun games and other child-friendly ways to evaluate vision and eye health while making the experience fun and interesting for your child.