Health Tip: Your Child Needs Regular Eye Exams

Preventive visits protect eye health

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(HealthDay News) -- Regular eye checkups are important, especially for children, the American Optometric Association says.

The newborn checkup at the hospital isn't enough, the group warns. By age 6 months, the association recommends that all children undergo a thorough eye exam.

If your child has a healthy prognosis from her eye exam, the AOA says she probably won't need another checkup until about age 3, and again before she starts school. Preventive checkups can help diagnose conditions including vision loss, lazy eye, or crossed eyes.

You should see an eye doctor at once if you notice abnormalities in your child's vision, says the AOA. You should also have regular optometric visits if your child has risk factors for eye disease, including low birth weight or a mother who had a sexually transmitted disease, rubella, or abused drugs or alcohol during pregnancy.

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