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*References: Tips for Keeping Children’s Eyes Healthy – Prof Frank Martin, The Royal Australasian College of Ophthalmologists. https://ranzco.edu/media-and-advocacy/blog/tips-for-keeping-children-s-eyes-healthy
The American Academy of Ophthalmology - https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/children-eye-screening
Clare Campitelli loves to look after the eyes of children.
School aged children
Clare sets aside 45 minutes when she assesses the eyes of a school aged child for the first time. This is because it takes time to look properly in this age group. Of course she looks to see that the eyes have 20/20 vision and are healthy as we do with everyone. When learning however, the children need to have accurate and efficient eye tracking, pointing and focus. They need to be able to sustain looking without getting tired. They need to be able to cope with stark contrast and harsh lighting that is found in books and on screens. Clare essentially does a fitness assessment for the eyes. She's looking to see that the eyes are fit and ready to allow learning.
Possible outcomes from there....
This age group has a visual system that is constantly developing. Examinations for little ones are quicker as we do not expect a high level of visual skill in preschoolers. It is very important to be sure that both eyes are developing well over this time. Lazy or turned eyes that go undetected in children are much harder to fix if found later. Again these children do not complain when they have a vision problem, it is up to the parents to watch their child for any signs and to come in for routine tests as well. We recommend that each child be examined once before the age of 2, and again at around 3.5 years. A check at age 5 around the start of school is very important and reviews at year 1,3 & 5 are timed well as this is when the school work becomes more difficult and the demands on eyes and vision increase.
Prescribing glasses for preschoolers is not commonly done unless there is a significant vision problem. If necessary we have a terrific range of glasses including the very robust nano vista for this age group.