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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

First Eye Exam Recommended Before Kindergarten

At every well-child visit since birth, your pediatrician has been checking to make sure your child's eyes are healthy. Still, a comprehensive eye examination by an ophthalmologist is recommended between the ages of 3 and 4 to check for hard-to-detect eye problems that respond best to early intervention.

"Amblyopia is one of the most common problems we encounter in children's vision. In one form of amblyopia, the eyes appear to be fine, which is why the more comprehensive examination is necessary. Amblyopia is relatively easy to treat when it is diagnosed early, between the ages of 3 and 4," says CHOC pediatric ophthalmologist Florencio Ching, M.D. "But many times, it is not detected until after a child has started school. By ages 6 or 7, amblyopia is much harder to treat."

A comprehensive eye examination is completely non-invasive and takes place with your child sitting in your lap. During the examination, the ophthalmologist evaluates visual function, alignment of the eyes and refractive status for possible nearsightedness or farsightedness. Finally, the pupils are dilated for an intraocular examination. As your child's pupils may remain dilated from 24 to 36 hours, dark glasses may be provided for comfort.

Florencio Ching, M.D., is a fellowship-trained pediatric ophthalmologist who is a member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and is board-certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. For more information, please contact him at (714) 633-0321 or your own ophthalmologist.

Symptoms To Discuss With Your Pediatrician

Dr. Ching recommends contacting your pediatrician whenever you notice anything that seems unusual. Be sure to report the following symptoms:

  • Light sensitivity, especially with excessive tearing.
  • Abnormal eye movement or shaking of the eyes.
  • Eyes that are not aligned or appear to be drifting.
  • A white pupil if a light is shined in your child's eye. You may also notice this in photographs.
  • Decreased visual attentiveness in one or both eyes. (If your child doesn't seem to be looking at things.)
  • Persistent eye infections that are not responsive to medication.
  • A strong family history of hereditary eye diseases.

CHOC CHILDREN'S PUBLICATIONS
PHYSICIAN CONNECTION ENEWSLETTER
KIDS HEALTH MAGAZINE
ANNUAL REPORT
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Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

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