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Vision services for children

All children should get a check-up by an optometrist before starting kindergarten to enter school ready to learn. Teachers or other professionals may recommend vision check-ups for children at other ages when concerns arise.

Find an optometrist in your area by contacting:

BC Doctors of Optometry 

General line: 604 737-9907
Toll-free: 1 888 393-2226 
Find a Doctor of Optometry - BC Doctors of Optometry

BC Medical Services Plan covers yearly vision check-ups for children under age 19. However, some optometry clinics charge extra for children's appointments.  It is a good idea to call clinics in advance to ask about extra charges and other services such as languages spoken. 

Vision problems often run in the family. If there is a family background of vision problems, please take your child to an optometrist by 3 years of age or earlier, especially if you notice any concerns.

What are signs and symptoms to watch?

The child should see their family health care provider or optometrist for any of these signs or symptoms:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes discharge
  • Squinting or rubbing the eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Drooping upper eyelid
  • Covering or closing one eye
  • Tilting or holding the head in an unusual position
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Lack of concentration
  • Holding objects too close
  • Complaining of a sore head
  • Avoiding activities needing distance vision
  • Difficulty finding or picking up small objects
  • Trouble focusing or making eye contact
  • Eyes appear crossed or turned
  • Difficulty following objects or people
  • Avoiding books or screens
  • Reading or watching screens very closely
  • Poor performance in school or lack of concentration
  • Bumping into things
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness in physical activities

This list is for information only. It is not meant to support diagnosis or treatment. Please see your family health care provider or optometrist for the best vision care for your child.

Help with purchasing glasses

More information from HealthLink BC



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