How well can your child see?
Good eyesight is important for children to be able to play and learn. Children who cannot see well may have problems with reading, hand-eye coordination and speech.
Every year in Ontario:
- 15,000 children have trouble learning to read because they need glasses
- 7000 children lose the use of one eye because they have an eye problem that is not treated in time.
Statistics from www.visionscreening.ca
Find an Optometrist
Signs of an eye problem
Your child may not tell you they have problems seeing, because they have never experienced good vision. You may not notice your child is having problems with their eyes.
Visit an optometrist if you notice any of these signs:
- Squinting or holding objects close to the eyes
- Blinking often
- Turning or tilting the head to the side often
- Covering or closing one eye
- One eye that turns out or in
- Rubbing, tearing, itchy or burning eyes
- Reporting blurry or double vision
- Reporting headaches, nausea or eye strain
Other signs that can be related to a vision problem:
- Short attention span
- Day dreaming
- A dislike of near work (eg. reading, playing with Lego)
- Skipping words, letters or lines when reading or taking notes from the board
- Using a finger or moving the head to track when reading
- Trouble reading, difficulty remembering what was read or poor comprehension
- Delayed learning of the alphabet
- Persistent letter, number or word reversals
- Not completing assignments on time
- Difficulty with geometric shapes
- Poor hand-eye coordination
- Poor performance in school
- Behavioural problems that stem from frustration
Yes. An eye doctor will do a comprehensive eye exam. This is the best way to make sure your child can see well and that their eyes are healthy. Children up to age 19 can get their eyes checked for free with an Ontario health card.
Yes. Vision screening does not replace an eye exam. The screening includes 3 short tests. These can show some risk factors for certain vision disorders. Eye exams are used to prevent, diagnose and treat vision disorders.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends:
Infants & Toddlers
First eye exam between 6 and 9 months of age
At least one eye exam between 2 and 5 years of age
School Age Children
Eye exam every year from 6 to 19 years of age
There are programs in Hamilton that can help families that need assistance with getting glasses. Call Hamilton Public Health Services at 905-546-2424 ext. 5369 to find out more about these programs or visit the links below.
Families who need assistance
- LensCrafters Lime Ridge Mall
- LensCrafters Eastgate Square
- Pearle Vision Lime Ridge Mall
- For families with low income
- Available through LensCrafters® and Pearle Vision®
- Free glasses with a letter from a local non-profit that verifies financial need
Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- For families on OW or ODSP
- Free glasses every time your child’s prescription changes
- Families can talk to their OW or ODSP Case Worker to find out more
- For families with low income
- Free or low-cost glasses
- Families can apply by completing the Request for Special Support Funding Application Form
Resettled refugees and refugee claimants
- For protected persons, including resettled refugees, refugee claimants and certain other groups
- Eyeglasses are part of this program