There are new guidelines supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics recommending that parents get their children's vision screened starting at age one rather than waiting until age five.
"Something just looked off. It wasn't really obvious," said April Bodden, mom to 3-year-old Greta.
By 18 months, Bodden noticed her daughter was cross-eyed. Doctors operated on Greta before she turned two.
"The earlier you find some of the issues, the better," said Pediatric Ophthalmologist Dr. Cyndi Beauchamp.
Your child's pediatricians should screen their eyes starting at age one. By then, doctors can tell whether the eyes are straight and pointed in the right direction, how good the child's vision is, and whether they'll need glasses.
"You can tell all of that by age one, yes," emphasized Beauchamp, a mother of three boys herself.
Since we're focusing on kids too young to read -- like Greta -- doctors screen them using instruments.
"You test their ability to track both toys and distant objects," said Beauchamp. "What we are really aimed at doing is making sure the visual brain develops normally."
Old guidelines called for screening by age five, but according to the Children's Eye Foundation, 78 percent of kids never get screened in pre-school.
"Eighty percent of everything we learn is through vision," said Luke Zeutzius, CEF Board Member. "You can help prevent surgery, you can help prevent blindness, just to get them tested to see what's going on."
Beauchamp added that at the age of one, the visual brain is very open to change and improvement -- as opposed to later in life. Greta comes back for doctors visits every few months.
"I wonder if we had her screened earlier if we would've caught something even earlier," said Bodden. Doctors think she could even be out of glasses by the time she turns 12.
"I think we would just want to know if there's a problem so that we can fix it," added Bodden.
Doctors emphasize that the earlier you start screening, the more efficiently and effectively your kids can be treated if there is a problem, particularly as they're growing accustomed to iPads, iPhones and other screens earlier in life.