What to Expect At Your Child’s First Eye Exam

What to Expect At Your Child’s First Eye Exam

Eyecare is a critical part of your overall health. Just as you would have your child go to a physical or dental check-up, you should also ensure that they are attending eye exams as well. For parents and children alike, the unknown can be scary. At TMS Eyecare, we are committed to putting your worries at ease. Here, we will discuss exactly what you should expect during your child’s first eye exam.

General History

First, we will want to obtain a general understanding of your child’s health. We may also want to know about their hobbies or sports that they participate in that may put them in a higher risk category for vision concerns. If your child is old enough to speak on their own behalf, we would love to talk to them a little bit to make them more comfortable.

Tests Conducted

There are primarily three core tests that are completed during a child’s first exam. They include vision acuity test, pupil test, and eye movement test.

Vision Acuity Test

During the visual acuity test, your child’s general vision is tested. If the child is old enough, we will simply use a standard eye chart. However, if your child is not familiar with letters, we can use a series of shapes to help determine the state of their vision. Their depth perception will also be tested at this time.

Pupil Test

The child’s pupils will be tested in order to see how their eyes respond to light. This test is accomplished by placing a light near their eye and seeing if the pupil contracts in response.

Eye Movement Test

Eye movement tests include simply moving a finger or stuffed animal across the room. The idea here is to make sure that the child is able to follow the cue without interruption visually.

A Closer Look

The doctor will also want to take a closer look at the eye itself. To do this, the pupil needs to be dilated. This is achieved by special drops placed directly into the eye. This may sting a little bit but will surpass almost immediately. It takes about thirty minutes for the drops to work, and then the doctor can examine the retina and optic nerve.

How Parents Can Help

It’s always helpful when parents play an active role in their child’s vision health. It may be beneficial for the parent to talk t the child before the appointment so that he or she has a general understanding of what to expect. Sometimes, children respond better when they aren’t totally taken by surprise. Some parents opt to bring in a small stuffed animal or another comfort item to help the child relax during the exam.



At TMS Eyecare, we understand the importance of taking a little extra time for our youngest patients. We know that going to the eye doctor the first time can be a bit scary, and we want to be sure that our patient's both big and small feel at ease the moment that they walk through our doors. If you have a little one who is getting their very first exam, we’d love to help! Please contact our office to schedule your appointment.