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June is Child Vision Awareness Month. As stated at, the purpose of this month is “to better educate and counsel the public on children’s vision problems and detection of eye diseases in children and infants, to increase the number of school-aged children who have an eye exam by an eye doctor, and to increase the number of children with learning disabilities who have a developmental vision exam to rule out vision problems.”

Read: 3 Surprising Summer Foods Your Child Shouldn’t Have

Children’s eye health begins in the newborn nursery and should continue throughout childhood, says Michael Repka, MD, professor of ophthalmology and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “For many children, an evaluation by a pediatrician may be enough. But if a child has a family history of vision or eye problems or has symptoms, he or she may need to have an official eye exam,” he says.

If your child has any symptoms of vision problems, or has family members who wear glasses, she/he may need to visit an eye care professional for examination.

There are three types of eye specialists who can provide children’s eye and vision care.

  • Ophthalmologist

    An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who provides eye care, such as complete eye exams, prescribing corrective lenses, diagnosing and treating eye diseases, and performing eye surgery.

  • Optometrist

    An optometrist is a health care professional who can provide complete eye exams, prescribe corrective lenses, diagnose common eye disorders, and treat selected eye diseases. Optometrists do not treat more complex eye problems or perform surgery.

  • Optician

    An optician assembles, fits, sells, and fills prescriptions for eyeglasses.

These health care providers can be found in most commercial and residential areas. Some may be located in shopping malls and even larger commercial chains. Even if there are no risk factors or family history of eye problems, children need their vision checked at 6 months, 3 years, and before first grade.

Click To The Next page to read what a basic eye exam should include.

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