Choosing Wisely:

Annual comprehensive eye exams are unnecessary for children who pass routine vision screening assessments.

Rationale and Comments: Early childhood vision screening done as part of routine well-child care accurately identifies most children with significant eye problems that are otherwise asymptomatic. Annual comprehensive eye examinations increase financial costs, a child’s absence from school and parental time away from work, with no evidence that the comprehensive exam detects asymptomatic vision problems better than timely, methodical and recurrent screening efforts. Comprehensive eye exams are appropriate for children who do not pass a vision screening.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
  • Sources:
  • AAO/AAP/AAPOS guidelines
  • Disciplines:
  • Pediatric
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Ophthalmologic
  • References: • AAO/AAP/AAPOS/AACO. Eye examination in infants, children, and young adults by pediatricians. May 2007. Pediatrics. 2007;120:683-4.
    • AAO/AAP/AAPOS. Vision screening for infants and children: a joint statement of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus and the American Academy of Ophthalmology. 2007. Available from:
    • AAPOS vision screening recommendations. Available from:

    Email Alerts

    Don't miss a single issue. Sign up for the free AFP email table of contents.

    Sign Up Now