In the first months and years of life, children are rapidly developing vision. Thus, early detection and treatment are crucial for prevention and treatment of sight-threatening conditions.
Pediatricians typically perform an initial screen in the newborn nursery. Any ocular misalignment persisting past three months of age requires evaluation by a pediatric ophthalmologist. The “red reflex” is examined at follow up well-child visits and is an important tool for detection of sight-threatening diseases. Preschool visual acuity screening is also critical for early detection of high refractive errors.
Ocular trauma is a major cause of vision loss in children. The National Society to Prevent Blindness states that about one-third of preventable eye loss in children under 10 years of age is from eye trauma. As a parent, you can help your child avoid eye trauma with the proper use of safety equipment during sports and recreational activities. Safety glasses and/or helmets should be a mandatory part of any sport or activity which carries a high risk of eye injury (e.g. hockey, racquetball, badminton). As a general rule, any physical sport which involves hitting or throwing a hard, small projectile is considered high risk.
It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.
© Children's Hospital of Orange County