Helping Give Your Children a Bright Future

Focusing On Your Children’s Eye Health

When children are brought into the world, they have no reference frame. If their vision is impaired or experiencing unusual symptoms, they may not even be aware of it, let alone tell you what’s going wrong.

Children are recommended to have their eyes examined no fewer than three times before reaching Kindergarten. They spend most of their young lives absorbing information and learning; since learning is over 60% visual, it is imperative that any problems be spotted and corrected as early as possible.

After kindergarten, your children should have their eyes tested every 12 months. You’ll be in and out again within the hour and this brief visit will not only assess your child’s vision but also examine their overall eye health. Many illnesses show early symptoms in the eye, so Dr. Kassam will also search for these telltale signs during the exam.

A Quick Breakdown of the Exam

Relax and meet Dr. Kassam

It’s very common for children to be nervous before an eye exam, so our first priority is always to help them feel at ease. Sometimes it’s showing off fancy machinery, for others a soft description of what the exam involves. Dr Kassam has a knack for helping kids relax and even enjoy their exams.

This allows Dr. Kassam to assess ‘how well’ your child is seeing overall. This testing generates a rough approximation of their corrective lens prescription (if relevant), their visual field (aka, how well they utilize their peripheral vision), as well as the use of digital retinal photography and ocular coherence tomography (OCT) to visualize the inside of their eye.

Dr. Kassam will also assess your child’s binocular function, essentially how well their eye muscles work with the eyes to control vision. Finally, Dr. Kassam will perform a comprehensive exam of your child’s eye structure in search of any indicators of eye disease.

If your child does require corrective lenses (contacts or frames) then that prescription can be sorted on the day, as we stock a huge variety of options. Your child will be able to choose a pair which are both useful and to their tastes!

Signs That Your Child May Have a Vision Problem

If your child is attending their annual eye exams, then any vision problems are likely to be noticed before they develop into something serious. However, a year is a long time. There are a number of different indicators of uncomfortable or impaired vision which you may pick up on between appointments.


When your child isn’t able to talk and articulate a problem, that poses a few barriers. However, the following can all suggest vision trouble:

  • The child always turning their head to a favoured side
  • Them being startled when a person or object appears from their peripheral (rather than central) vision
  • The pupils not looking the same
  • Turning their head when examining objects, rather than looking straight at them
  • Any family history of amblyopia (aka lazy eye)

If your child:

  • Holds mobile devices very close to their face, or sits right up next to the TV
  • Complains often about headaches
  • Finds short-distance tasks (like tying their shoes) awkward or difficult
  • Tilts their head to one side when watching TV or reading

By now, your child may be sensitive or embarrassed about their undiagnosed vision impairment. If you notice any of these signs, play it safe and go in for an exam.

  • Frequent headaches
  • Trouble paying attention in class or concentrating on homework
  • Squinting when watching TV or reading the board in school
  • Reading comprehension is below the expected level for their age group
  • They use their fingers to help them track the lines when reading (after 2nd grade)