Children’s senses play a major role in how they learn, interpret, develop and adapt to their environments. Therefore, it is important to test your child’s vision and hearing very early on to ensure correct development and to tend to any problems that may emerge over time.
To evaluate your child’s vision and hearing, you should have several professional tests done where a complete medical history and physical examination will be included. Additionally, many different types of vision and hearing examinations can be taken to check your child’s sensory abilities. Some of these will be done when your child reaches a specific age, while others will be performed as your child’ reaches a certain level of understanding.
A guide to how often you should test your child’s vision and hearing
Eye exams are vital to ensure your child’s eyes are healthy and that there are no problems that could potentially interfere with skill development, school performance or your child’s safety.
An eye examination by a pediatrician or family doctor is unfortunately not a substitute for a full eye exam performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. They have the right tools, skill and knowledge to perform a thorough evaluation of your child’s vision.
When should my child have their first eye test?
Your child should have the first eye exam at six months of age.
How often thereafter?
After the initial test, you should have your child’s eyes examined at around age 3 and again just before they go to school at age 5 or 6. If no vision correction is required, your school-going child should ideally have an eye exam every two years. If your child needs glasses, an eye test should be done every year.
In some cases, children are born with a hearing loss. But it can also be caused by things like trauma and infections that only emerge until later in childhood. Therefore, testing your child’s hearing is essential.
When should my child have their first hearing test?
The first test should be done in the first three weeks of life. This is a crucial period when most hearing loss and problems can be picked up.
How often thereafter?
Even if your child seems to have normal hearing, you should continue to have their hearing tested regularly. This can be done at ages 9 months to 2.5 years, again at 4 or 5 years and then at ages 6, 8, and 10. It should also be done at any other time there is a concern.
Test your child’s vision and hearing for early detection
It is normal for children to develop certain sensory skills at different ages. However, there are specific levels of hearing and vision abilities that your child should develop at distinct ages. Evaluating and testing your child is the best way to detect any problems early and to avoid further deterioration.