Visual Health for Babies and Toddlers

Good vision is important for a child's development. If not identified early, some eye problems can permanently reduce a child’s vision. Take your child to the optometrist.

For more information, read the article: “A Child’s Visual Milestone – How well can your child see?”

Screen Time
Children’s use of digital media has increased dramatically, and begins earlier in childhood. Time spent in front of a screen can affect children’s vision. Increased prevalence or progression of myopia (nearsightedness) has been linked with children spending fewer hours outdoors.
Limit screen time of television, computers, tablets, smartphones and video games. Visit the Active Play page for recommended screen time for babies and toddlers.
Optometric Examination
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the following: 
  • Infants and toddlers should have their first eye examination between the ages of 6 and 9 months.
  • Preschool children should have at least one eye examination between the ages of 2 and 5 years.

A valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card covers the cost of an annual eye examination for children and youth aged 0 to 19 years.  

To find an optometrist, call the Ontario Association of Optometrists at 1-800-540-3837 or visit their website for a list of doctors in your area.

Assistance with the Cost of Prescription Eyeglasses

Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program
Families receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can contact their caseworker for information on assistance with the cost of prescription eyeglasses.
Low-Income Families
Help with the cost of prescription eyeglasses may be available for low-income families. Call the Community and Social Services Department at 3-1-1 for more information.
Services for Children Who are Blind or Have Low Vision
There is Ontario’s Blind – Low Vision Early Intervention Program is designed to give children who are blind or with low vision the best possible start in life. Specialized family-centered services are funded by the province and are available for children from birth to Grade 1.

The program offers three types of services:

  1. Family support
  2. Intervention services
  3. Consultation services

Visit the program website. For more information about regional services, visit the Eastern Ontario Blind Low Vision Program (Ottawa, Renfrew County and Eastern counties of Prescott-Russell & Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry)

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