visual screening test for kids

What is a Visual Screening Test?

Vision screening is the best way to identify vision problems. This exam can detect if your child’s eyes have any current or possible eye diseases. This can also check if their eyes are working properly. If your family or your partner’s family has a history of vision problems, your children will most likely have eye problems as well that is why it is very important to have their eyes checked.
As mothers, we have a lot of stuff to think of and sometimes, your child’s eyesight is not part of your top list unless it’s an emergency. But, in today’s modern world, children are exposed to technology and gadgets as early as 5 months old. Your child’s eyes are exposed to radiation at such an early age which is why it is vital that you should have your child go through vision screening.

When should my child’s eyes be checked?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics, you can have your child’s eyes checked at the following ages:
Newborn: Every single baby’s eyes should be checked for possible infections, defects, cataracts, or glaucoma before being checked out from the hospital especially if you have a premature baby, and babies with multiple medical problems.

  • By 6 months of age: During the monthly visit to the doctor, eye health, vision development, and alignment of the eyes should be included.
  • Starting at 1 to 2 years of age: To start detecting potential eye problems, your child’s eyes are now safe to undergo photo screening devices.
  • At 3 to 4 years of age: Your child’s eyes and vision should be checked if there are any abnormalities that can cause problems in the later development.
  • At 5 years and older: Every year, your child’s vision should be checked separately. If your pediatrician has found anything abnormal or unusual, your doctor can suggest an experienced and well-trained pediatric ophthalmologist.

What are the types of Visual Screening Tests?

For infants:

  • Response to light: The infant will blink in response when exposed to a bright light.
  • Pupil response: By shining a penlight towards the eye, the infant’s eye will response.
  • Ability to follow a target: To check the ability of an infant to follow a target using an object or toy is the most common acuity test.
  • Visually evoked response testing: Infant will be connected to a monitor with attachments on their heads. The machine records all electrical activity in the brain as the lights and patterns show up. These tests stimulate their eyes with either a bright light or a special pattern.

For older infant and toddler:
The tests above are applicable but in addition to the following:

  • Cover and uncover test: This test can measure the movement and alignment of your child’s eyes. Opaque card will be used to cover one eye while the other is staring straight ahead.

For preschoolers:
The tests above are applicable but in addition to the following:

  • Visual acuity tests: Pediatricians use charts that consists of pictures or letters to measure both near and distant vision.
  • Color testing: This test can help determine if your child is color blind or not.

For school-aged children:
Either of the tests above are applicable.

Choosing a pediatric care center is crucial. You have to choose a pediatrician who cares well for his patients – who treats the kids like his own. One of the best pediatric private practices in the Central Valley is Pediatric Associates California. To set an appointment, you may call (559) 728-4133 (Fresno clinic) or (559) 673-6085 (Madera clinic).