PURPOSE: To describe the visual outcomes of a large cohort of pediatric patients presenting to a tertiary care pediatric hospital with first-episode optic neuritis. DESIGN: Retrospective, observational cohort study. METHODS: In a tertiary care pediatric hospital, patients with first-episode optic neuritis and at least 3 months of follow-up over a 10-year period were assessed and followed-up in the ophthalmology department. The main outcome measures were visual acuity at 3 months and 1 year of follow-up, with analysis of risk factors for poor visual outcomes and the time course of visual recovery. RESULTS: Of the 59 pediatric patients with first-episode optic neuritis, 46 had at least 3 months of follow-up and 36 had at least 1 year of follow-up. The mean age was 12.6 years old; 72% were female, 41% had bilateral involvement, 52% had or developed an underlying diagnosis (39% multiple sclerosis, 7% acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, 7% neuromyelitis optica), and 91% received treatment (85% steroids, 7% multimodal). At 1 year, 81% were at least 20/20 and 89% were at least 20/40. A poor visual outcome at 1 year (<20/40) was associated with vision of <20/20 at 3 months (P = 0.041). Other clinical characteristics, including visual acuity at presentation, sex, bilateral involvement, optic nerve edema, and underlying diagnoses were not significantly associated with poor visual outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: In this cohort of pediatric patients with optic neuritis, the majority of patients regained normal visual acuity at 1 year, regardless of baseline clinical characteristics.