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All children should have an initial eye evaluation by their pediatrician within the first few days to one week of life. In fact, many hospitals evaluate a child before they are discharged after birth.
During each of the babys well-visit examinations, the pediatrician will be asking you questions about your babys eyes and doing brief screening evaluations. Persistent misaligned eyes after the age of three or four months, persistent discharge from the eyes, an irregularity of the eye or an general health problem that may relate to the eye, will initiate referral to an ophthalmologist.
Typically, at age one and then age three, the pediatrician will be doing some ore extensive screening appropriate to the childs age. At age three, if a child does not seem to have equal visual acuity in both eyes or does not reach a certain level on the eye chart, your pediatrician will decide to send your child for an eye examination.
Between three and five years of age, if you believe your child is having difficulty seeing or if there is a family history of needing glasses at an early age, it certainly is worthwhile having an eye exam. Most children should have an eye exam before they begin first grade. It is always helpful to bring a child to someone who specializes in children, for example a pediatric ophthalmologist. Remember, any child, any age can be examined.
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