Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Eye and Vision Tests for Children and Teens
the guidelines below to schedule routine vision checks and eye exams with
The American Academy of Pediatrics
(AAP) and the American Academy of Ophthalmologists
(AAO) recommend that all children have an
eye exam during the newborn period and again
at all routine
well-child visits.footnote 1
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force
(USPSTF) recommends screening
(tests) to detect lazy eye
(amblyopia), misaligned eyes
(strabismus), and defects in
visual acuity in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years.footnote 2
The AAP recommends that
vision screening start around age 3 and occur each year at ages 4, 5, and 6.
After that, screening should occur at ages 8, 10, 12, and 15.footnote 3
The AAO recommends that
vision screening start around age 3 and occur each year at ages 4 and 5. After
age 5, the AAO recommends screening every 1 to 2 years.footnote 4
Eye exams by a specialist (an
optometrist) are recommended if a
child of any age has:
and teens with a disease that affects the eyes can follow the eye
exam and vision testing schedule for all children. It's best that they see an
eye doctor (specialist) for their eye care.
At least once a year, most eye doctors want to check the vision
of children and teens that have
refractive errors that impact their sight. If
nearsightedness is severe or quickly gets worse in a child, he or
she will need exams more often.
American Academy of Pediatrics, et al. (2003, reaffirmed 2007). Policy statement: Eye examination in infants, children, and young adults by pediatricians. Pediatrics, 111(4): 902–907.
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2011). Vision screening for children 1 to 5 years of age:
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation
statement. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Available online: http://www.pediatrics.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2010-3177.
Committee on Practice and Ambulatory Medicine, Bright Futures Periodicity Schedule Working Group (2016). 2016 recommendations for preventive pediatric health care. Pediatrics, 137(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2015-3908. Accessed December 7, 2015.
American Academy of Ophthalmology Pediatric Ophthalmology/Strabismus Panel (2012). Pediatric eye evaluations. (Preferred Practice Pattern). San Francisco: American Academy of Ophthalmology. Also available online: http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=2e30f625-1b04-45b9-9b7c-c06770d02fe5.
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Ophthalmology, et al. (2006). Screening examination of premature infants for retinopathy of prematurity. Pediatrics, 117(2): 572–576. [Errata in Pediatrics, 117(4): 1468 and Pediatrics, 118(3): 1324.]
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.