The purpose of this study was to investigate the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in myopic, emmetropic, and hyperopic children using optical coherence tomography. Two-hundred one right eyes of subjects aged 4 to 18 years were divided into 3 groups based on their postcycloplegic spherical equivalent: myopes (<-1.0 D), emmetropes (≥-1.0 to ≤+1.0 D), and hyperopes (>+1.0 D). The RNFL was correlated with age, spherical equivalent, and axial length. The RNFL was compared between the 3 groups before and after age adjustment. The RNFL was thickest in the hyperopic group (107.2 ± 10.13 μm, n = 73), followed by the emmetropic group (102.5 ± 9.2 μm, n = 61), and then the myopic group (95.7 ± 10.3, n = 67) (all P < 0.0001). The myopic group (9.6 ± 3.9 years) was significantly older than the emmetropic (6.9 ± 2.7 years) and hyperopic (6.5 ± 1.9 years) groups (both P < 0.0001). When adjusted for age, myopes had a thinner RNFL than the other 2 groups (all P < 0.0001), but there was no RNFL thickness difference between the emmetropic and hyperopic groups (P > 0.05). A thinner RNFL was associated with an older age (r = -0.4, P < 0.0001), a more myopic spherical equivalent (r = 0.5, P < 0.0001), and a longer axial length (r = -0.4, P < 0.0001) on Pearson correlation analysis. The apparently thicker RNFL in hyperopic and emmetropic children was attributed to their younger age as compared with their myopic counterparts. When adjusted for age, only myopia was associated with a thinner RNFL, with emmetropic and hyperopic children having equal RNFL thicknesses. Advancing age, a more myopic spherical equivalent, and a longer axial length were associated with a thinner RNFL in children.