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Dr. Ciambrone Answers Your Questions About Pediatric Eye Care

Little girl hugging a stuffed animal in Kissimmee, Florida

Q. From what age should a parent be bringing in their children for an eye exam?

A. First comprehensive exam at 6 months old, then 3 years old, then just before 1st grade (5 or 6 years old).

Q. Why is it important to bring a child in at such a young age?

A. A vision screening by pediatrician/family doctor is not a substitute for an eye exam performed by an eye doctor. They are important because children need healthy eyes for proper performance in school.

Q. What is the difference in terms of the examination process when you are checking the eyes of young children?

A. Age appropriate testing is performed on children using toys, games, etc.

Q. Are there any signs that parents should be looking out for that would point them to making an appointment with their optometrist?

A. Sitting close to the t.v., holding books too close, squinting, head tilt, covering one eye, rubbing eyes, short attention span, eye turn in or out, sensitivity to light, difficulty with hand/eye coordination, avoid coloring, puzzles, reading.

Q. Do you find that some parents can express hesitancy in bringing in your children?

A. What causes that hesitation? Yes, some parents are hesitant. The hesitation result from fear of the unknown, and not wanting to find your child is “handicapped in some way”

Q. How does the school play a role in this?

A. Peer pressure plays a role.

Q. Do you have issues with children that are shy or intimidated in the office, and how do you work with that?

A. Yes, most children are shy and intimidated at the doctor’s office. We try to alleviate that by treating them as if they were one of our own child/grandchildren with plenty of smiles and love.

Q. Can you recall any particular story of a child that came into your office, in which you were able to detect an issue early on and therefore make a difference in that child’s eye health?

A. Yes. There have been numerous examples of children who have come in and have had their lives changed by just being able to see and function with a first/new pair glasses.

Q. Any further comments specific to pediatric care that parents should be aware of?

A. I just want to stress to parents the importance of eye exams for children, 80% of what a child learns is through their eyes.