Children's Optometry and Ophthalmology

Improving Children’s Vision

Children depend on their vision to help them learn in school and during play. Make sure your child can see the board during class and read a book with ease. Bring your child to Sanford Children’s Optometry and Ophthalmology if you suspect problems with your child’s vision.

Your child will start to see better when they see our vision specialists. We treat patients from infancy to young adulthood. Your child’s vision care team will include optometrists for eye exams, ophthalmologists for advanced vision care and optical technicians for eyeglasses and contact lenses fitting.

For physicians: Refer a patient to Sanford Health.


Comprehensive Eye Care

Visit the experts at Sanford Children’s if you think your child has vision problems. Look for these behaviors:

  • An infant avoiding eye contact
  • Infants who can’t smoothly watch moving objects
  • Eyes looking in different directions
  • Children tilting their heads to see better
  • Squinting


We offer:

  • Contact lenses and glasses fitting: You and your family can find fun and fashionable frames at Sanford Health. We sell frames and contact lenses at our optical stores and have opticians available to help you find your perfect frames.
  • Eye exams: Children should get glasses when they need them, which may be as early as a few months old. Most kids get farsighted or nearsighted between ages 6 and 12, but vision screening is recommended as young as 3 years old.
  • Eye surgery: If your child’s optometrist detects eye problems, an ophthalmologist can provide treatment, including surgical solutions.
  • Sports-related eye injury treatment: Every year, thousands of children injure their eyes during sports. Find out how to protect your young athlete’s vision.
  • Vision problem management: Some eye problems can be managed or treated without surgery.


Protect Your Child’s Eyes

Children can develop eye problems from injury or vision damage. Protect yourself and your family by practicing eye care precautions every day. Make sure children wear safety goggles when appropriate and faceguards while playing high-impact sports. Keep children away from dangerous chemicals like weed killer, fertilizer or cleaning supplies. Supervise children around fireworks and make sure they stay away while people mow or work with power tools.

Make an eye care appointment right away if your child has any of these symptoms:

  • Changes in vision
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Infection in the skin near the eye
  • Muscle spasms of the eye or eyelid
  • Red eyes
  • Swollen eyes
  • Trouble focusing
  • Watery eyes or excessive tears


Children’s Eye Exam Schedule

Children—especially young children—can’t always verbalize when they’re having vision problems. Catch vision loss early before it disrupts a child’s development.

Pediatric vision experts have recommended infants and children have an eye screening at these stages:

  • Newborn: All infants born at a Sanford Health facility get a full eye exam to look for eye infections and eye disorders, including cataracts.
  • 6 months: During this checkup, a pediatric specialist will check your baby’s overall eye health and look at how the eyes work together.
  • 3 to 4 years: This will be your child’s first formal vision test. The optometrist will look at your child’s eye health and check for vision problems.
  • 5 years and older: Get your child’s eyes tested annually.


Find an eye doctor or eye clinic near you to schedule an appointment.


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