What To Expect From Your Child’s First Eye Exam

March 03, 2021

Eye exams are an important part of wellness at any age. For children especially, healthy eyes  are critical for development, learning and preparing for the future. Some eye conditions, if found early enough, can be corrected or prevented, allowing children more opportunities to succeed in life. Here’s what to expect from your child’s first eye appointment.

When Should The First Eye Appointment Be?

A pediatrician can do a brief check of your newborn’s eyes, but it’s best to let a pediatric ophthalmologist do a more thorough examination when your baby is about six months old. While this may seem young, this is the time when your child starts to learn object permanence and to interact with the surrounding world. An early eye exam also allows the pediatric ophthalmologist to detect rare but potentially serious conditions that can occur congenitally.

A child’s next eye exam should occur before starting school at age 3-5, yet earlier if your toddler has failed a preschool vision test such as photoscreening.   

Getting An Exam From A Pediatric Ophthalmologist

During the first appointment, the eye doctor will likely do the following:

  • Check vision by moving colorful objects and toys in child’s field of vision 
  • Use a light to ensure the pupils respond normally. 
  • Check and provide a solution for conditions such as lazy eye (amblyopia) and crossed eyes (strabismus)
  • Dilate your child’s eyes and use specialized instruments to check for cataracts or any  retinal or optic nerve issue.
  • Assess for a need for glasses.

Even if your child cannot follow directions, your pediatric ophthalmologist can do all of these tests without your child actively participating or saying a word.

As your child reaches school age, your ophthalmologist may start doing additional testing to look for other eye conditions such as:

  • Focusing or convergence problems
  • Poor depth perception
  • Color blindness
  • Eyelid inflammation or styes
  • Eye alignment, corneal, or retinal abnormalities not present in infancy

Most children are farsighted at an early age, but over just a few years, nearsightedness or astigmatism can develop. Your ophthalmologist will be able to determine whether corrective lenses are needed before starting school. Also, if your child has other vision conditions like a lazy eye or crossed eyes, this is a good time for early corrective procedures, like eye patching,  if advised.


At the start of the exam, please let the eye care team know of any family eye conditions and genetic predispositions in order to assess for these during the visit. Furthermore, you should be prepared to tell your ophthalmologist if your child has any concerning ocular symptoms such as:

  • Frequent eye-rubbing or eye redness
  • Excessive blinking or tearing
  • Headaches
  • Failure to maintain eye contact
  • Difficulty learning
  • Poor eye tracking skills
  • Premature birth or developmental delay

We’re Here to Help

We understand that the process of getting your child through a first-time doctor visit can be intimidating, but we’re here to make the process as uncomplicated and enjoyable as possible. Our pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Ganser, will give your child the best possible chance at excellent eye health from day one. For more information or to schedule your child’s next eye appointment, contact us today!

What Our Patients Think

    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
Read More Testimonials