Warning Signs of Vision Problems in Young Children

Image of a young girl with a woman in an optometrist chair

It can be difficult for children to realize or express that they’re experiencing vision problems. That’s why, as a parent, it’s essential to be on the lookout for signs that your child may be struggling to see.

Babies


During your baby’s first few months, their eyes may occasionally wander, cross or appear misaligned or unfocused. This is entirely normal, as the muscles in their eyes aren’t yet fully developed or well coordinated. However, if your baby’s eyes are constantly drifting, you should speak with your optometrist.


Although babies develop at different speeds, they should be able to track objects and make steady eye contact with family members and friends by four months old. If your baby’s eyes move quickly from side to side, jerk or wander randomly instead of staying focused, they may be experiencing vision problems.


In addition, the following symptoms could indicate an issue with your baby’s vision health:

  • Extreme light sensitivity may indicate elevated eye pressure
  • White or cloudy pupils could be a sign of cancer
  • Excessive tearing may be due to a blocked tear duct
  • Red, crusty eyes could signal an infection


Finally, if you think your baby may be having trouble seeing, you should schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends that children have their first exam between the ages of six and nine months old.

 

Preschoolers


Between the ages of two and five, your child’s vision is becoming fine-tuned. During this important developmental stage, it’s essential to watch out for potential signs of vision problems. For example, if your child finds it challenging to recognize colours, shapes, letters and numbers, their vision may be impaired.


Additionally, if your child’s exhibiting any of the following behaviours, they may require vision correction:

  • Sitting too close to the TV could be a sign of nearsightedness
  • Squinting could indicate a refractive error
  • Tilting their head may be a sign of a lazy eye
  • Rubbing their eyes could indicate eye fatigue or strain caused by blurred vision
  • Difficulty concentrating could be a symptom of accommodative dysfunction
  • Constant headaches might be a sign of overexertion due to unclear vision
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Dr. Rohit Bhaskar, Physio is Founder of Bhaskar Health and Physiotherapy and is also a consulting physiotherapist. He completed his Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. His clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab. Bhaskar Health is dedicated to readers, doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. Bhaskar Health audience is the reason I feel so passionate about this project, so thanks for reading and sharing Bhaskar Health.

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