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 pediatric eye examination between the ages of 6 and 12 months.
  • Preschool children should have a follow up pediatric 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, visit the Ontario Association of Optometrists 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)

Do you have more questions about parenting?

  • Connect with a registered nurse from Health811 for free, secure, and confidential health advice. Service is available 24/7 in English and French, with translation support also offered in other languages. Call 8-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with a Community Navigator from 2-1-1 for information about community programs and resources across Eastern Ontario. Helpline service is available 24/7 and in many different languages. Call 2-1-1 or visit
  • Connect with other parents on the Parenting in Ottawa Facebook page.
  • There are a variety of services to make it easier for your child to grow up healthy in Ottawa.
  • You can update your child's immunization record using either the CANImmunize App or the Immunization Connect Ontario (ICON) Tool
  • If you have received a message from Ottawa Public Health such as a letter or a call regarding immunization, an infectious disease, or infection control lapse, please call 613-580-6744 and listen to the menu options carefully.

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