Find out about vision checks in babies and children.
When does screening for vision problems happen?
In New Zealand, there are 2 screenings for some vision problems in babies and children.
The first vision screening happens soon after your baby is born.
The next vision screening happens when your child is around 4 years of age. This is part of their B4 School Check.
What happens if my child misses their screening?
If your child missed their screening, it's important they have this screening in their first year at school. Contact your child's school to make sure the vision hearing technician screens your child on their next visit.
Does vision screening find all vision problems?
No. This screening does not find all vision problems.
If you have questions about your child's vision screening, call Healthline (0800 611 116) or talk to the vision hearing technician who screened your child, an optometrist, ophthalmologist or your family doctor.
When might my child need a full eye test?
A full eye test is recommended for all babies and children who:
- have a squint (strabismus) or a lazy eye (amblyopia)
- needed strong glasses at an early age (refractive error)
- were premature (30 weeks gestation or less)
- have developmental delay
If none of the above apply to your child, it's still best to have an eye check is there is a family history of squint, lazy eye or strong glasses at an early age.
The best time for your child to have an eye check is between the ages of 2 and a half and 3 years. At this age, your child will be old enough for a very accurate vision test and it is still early enough to manage any problems.
Remember to see your family doctor if you have any other concerns about your baby's eyes.
This page last reviewed 01 August 2022.
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