This month we are going to talk about eye care for children. Undiagnosed vision problems in kids can cause developmental issues. Some issues include decreased development, learning disabilities which may be diagnosed as behavioral issues as well as an increased risk of injury. Caretakers should pay close attention to some common signs that may indicate that your child has a visual impairment.
- Infants (up to 24 months old)
- A child’s first eye exam should occur between the ages of 6 to 12 months
- Signs that indicate a visit to an eye care specialist include: excessively tearing eyes, red or crusty eyelids, constant eye turns and extreme light sensitivity
- Preschool (2 to 5 years old)
- This is a critical time period for learning and development for children. Most of what is learned is visually guided.
- Signs that indicate a visit to an eye care specialist include: sitting too close to a screen or holding reading material too close to their face, frequent squinting or covering an eye, an eye turning inward or outward, having a short attention span for their age or avoiding activities requiring the use of good visual acuity (e.g., puzzles or coloring)
- Conditions such as an eye turn (strabismus) and/or a lazy eye (amblyopia) can develop around this age and can be better managed if diagnosed and treated early.
- School Age (6 to 18 years old)
- Children are usually able to report symptoms of visual problems in this age group. They may report that they see double vision, have tired eyes, headaches or blurry vision.
- Signs that indicate a visit to an eye care specialist include: avoiding reading or holding reading material close to their face, constantly covering their eye or turning their head, having an eye that constantly turns out or losing their place while reading
Vision problems can impact a child’s ability to learn as well as their academic performance. It is generally recommended that children get their eyes examined before starting school and then once a year following their first exam as long as there are no issues that require further follow up care. If you would like to discuss your child’s eye health, call 860-233-2020 to make an appointment with one of our eye care specialists today. We look forward to seeing you soon!