Make kids' eye exams a priority, doctors say

Parents urged to prioritize kids' eye exams

Doctors are urging parents to make eye exams for their kids a priority. The American Optometric Association says 25 percent of children already wear or need glasses by the time they enter kindergarten. 

Dr. Tamiesha Frempong, a pediatric ophthalmologist at Mount Sinai in New York, joined "CBS This Morning" to discuss the warning signs for children's vision problems and why it's important to address them early.

"So obvious things would be eyes that don't stay straight, eyes that shake, eyes that wander, poor fixation, poor tracking. And then things as simple as squinting. If your child is constantly squinting when they're looking at things far away, that could be an indication they may need glasses," Frempong said.

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CBS News

Frempong shared an example of how issues with her vision as a child impacted her performance in school.

"When I was in third grade I started failing my spelling tests and my teacher alerted my parents, you know, you might want to get her vision checked. Imagine if that didn't happen? I could have been labelled a bad student, not focused, not serious and I didn't even know I had a problem because the vision I was having at that time was normal for me. And that is when I started wearing glasses," she said.

Frempong recommends parents take their child for a comprehensive eye exam when they are about 3 to 5 years old.

"Even things like misalignment of the eye could impact the ability to focus and read. So those things do require comprehensive eye exam."