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Our Tacoma family eye care services extend to every member of your family, including the youngest ones. Infants, toddlers, first-graders and older kids all require eye and vision exams to make sure they're seeing their world correctly. Your optometrist at Family EyeCare Associates, Dr. Hartman or Dr. Garlick, will be more than happy to serve as your trusted source for pediatric eye health and vision care.
If you could remember your first days as a newborn infant, the image would be a fuzzy one at best. That's because babies aren't born with the ability to see clearly, even if their eyes are perfectly healthy. Vision is a process that must be learned, coordinated and refined between the eyes and the brain.
After the first 6 months, most infants are seeing reasonably well. But problems occasionally develop, and they can lead to larger issues by interfering with your child's manual coordination, balance and even safety. Vision problems in school-age children can even be mistaken for learning disabilities. These are all excellent reasons to get your little one's eyes and vision checked at recommended intervals by our Tacoma family eye care center.
How young is too young for an eye exam? Your pediatrician will administer a pediatric eye health exam to your newborn just to make sure the eyes aren't showing obvious signs of abnormalities or infections. As for proper eye and vision evaluations, the American Optometric Association recommends that children receive these exams at the ages of 6 months, 3 years and 5-6 years (whenever you're preparing to enroll the child in school).
The 6-month exam focuses on eye health and eye function. We can check for signs of strabismus (an eye alignment problem in which the eyes are turned outward or inward), ocular tumors and other issues; our optometrist will also evaluate your child's apparent ability to track and focus on objects. The 3-year-old exam introduces the possibility of communicating with your child, which allows us to evaluate eye function and vision even more closely. The "school readiness" exam pays special attention to vision testing for refractive errors such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. If your child is having trouble reading letters (or seeing shapes) on an eye chart, we can write a prescription for eyeglasses to provide sharp clear vision for that first day of school.
During the school years, children with no eye or vision issues should receive an eye exam every two years, while those with refractive errors or other problems may need an annual exam so we can monitor their condition and update vision prescriptions as needed.
Your child's eyesight deserves the highest standard of care. Choose the pediatric eye exam Tacoma parents trust. Contact Family EyeCare Associates at (253)566-2020 for an appointment!