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Children’s eye health FAQs


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When should I have my child’s eyes tested?

It is possible to assess an infant’s vision, so if you have any concerns about your infant’s vision you should seek a review by an ophthalmologist. It is recommended that children have a full eye examination with an optometrist at 3 years of age, and then every 2 years as they progress through primary and secondary school. You should also take your child for an eye check if you notice any issues with their eyes or eyesight.

Can too much screen time affect my child’s eyes?

Screen time includes time watching or interacting with any electronic device – e.g. computers, TVs, mobile phones, tablets and video game consoles. Set acceptable limits for screen time and ensure children take short breaks for at least 5 to 10 minutes every hour. Make sure the room is well lit and reduce glare and reflection from lights or windows.

Encourage your child to spend time outdoors every day, even during winter. Australian research shows increasing exposure to outdoor light is a key factor in reducing the risk of becoming short-sighted.

Recommended screen time guidelines

What are the signs that my child may have a vision problem?

They might tilt their head when looking at something, or they may frequently blink or rub their eyes. A child with vision problems can have difficulty reading or hold a book or screen close to their eyes. Other signs include squinting or having difficulty seeing an object or someone in the distance. Your child  may also complain of headaches or blurred vision.

How can I help protect my child’s eyes?

Make sure children wear good-quality, UV-rated, wraparound sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats when they are outside to protect eyes from excessive UV exposure. While this is particularly relevant during sunny weather and other bright, glarey conditions (e.g. at the snow), UV exposure can still be high during overcast days.

Learn about UV and sun protection times in Australia

Provide a healthy diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and fish.

Always seek prompt medical attention if your child suffers any eye injury or trauma to reduce the risk of complications.

References and further reading

General references

The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your ophthalmologist for specific medical advice.

Have a question?

IMPORTANT: If you are concerned about your eyes and require an urgent consultation, DO NOT use this form. Please call one of our clinics during office hours or contact your nearest emergency department.

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