DRAFT: This information in the Vision section is currently out for review by Pediatric Ophthalmology consultants.
Vision problems affect 2-4% of children under 3 years of age, 5-10 % of preschoolers and 20-25% of school-aged children. Vision problems can begin at a very early age and, if untreated, may lead to delayed development and vision loss. Injury to the eyes may occur at any age. Many eye and vision injuries can be prevented by simple measures such as appropriate toy selection for the age and maturity level of the child and the use of protective eyewear during sport and hobby activities.
Parents are often the first to notice an eye or vision problem. If a parent expresses concern, he/she should be encouraged to get a diagnostic exam. Children with global developmental delay or a family history of eye problems such as congenital cataracts, retinoblastoma, genetic disorders and metabolic disease should have an eye examination.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, examination of the eyes should be performed beginning in the newborn period and at all well-child visits.* Very premature infants and some other infants with health problems need an examination by an ophthalmologist and continued monitoring. Visual acuity measurement should be part of the well-child examination at the earliest possible age depending on child's ability and cooperation (often at about 3 years of age).
*AAP Policy Statement - Eye Examination in Infants, Children, and Young Adults by Pediatricians'