As parents, we do everything we can to protect our children and keep them healthy. We rush them around to their various appointments, making sure they see the doctor and the dentist on a regular basis. What a lot of people don’t realize is how important it is to also schedule regular eye exams for little ones.
That’s why we are working with the Alberta Association of Optometrists – to educate parents about eye health not only for your children’s sake, but for yourselves, and possibly even your parents.
Many serious eye diseases have no symptoms and can only be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. If caught at an early age, conditions can often be properly managed and even corrected.
That’s why Alberta Doctors of Optometry recommend all children have their first eye exam at six months of age, their second by the age of three, and their third before kindergarten and every year after starting school. We always make an effort to visit the optometrist the month before school starts in an effort to catch any vision issues prior to school starting.
It’s a good idea to make eye exams a part of your child’s annual checkup routine. Alberta Health Care covers the cost of basic eye exams for children up to the age of 19. We have also found that with subsequent follow up appointments have also been covered by Alberta Health Care. Which I know is a big relief for many families that might not have benefits through their employer.
Alberta health care also has a new program called Eye See…Eye Learn! It is a program that gives kindergarten-aged children glasses. No forms are needed they simply need an eye exam done by a doctor of optometry. If they need glasses you just need to ask to participate in the program! You can find more information here.
Don’t forget – visual abilities play a big role in early development, and it’s crucial that any problems are caught as early as possible. To book an appointment with an optometrist near you, visit www.optometrists.ab.ca/find-an-optometrist.