Four Warning Signs Of Toddler Vision Problems

Posted on: 17 March 2015

Diagnosing eye problems can be tricky with toddlers since traditional eye charts are useless for this age group. Studies show that most eye problems are inherited, so if you or your partner have vision issues you may be concerned. You are right to be concerned since catching and treating some eye problems early enough can diminish their severity. Watch for these four indications to assess your toddler's vision. They could give you an early warning that it's time for a visit to the optometrist.

  1. Look for issues with vision games with your child. Test how well they can spot objects in the room or outside the car window. Ask them to tell you what color the object is. If they know some of their numbers or letters, ask them to repeat what they see back to you. Try covering one eye at a time to spot a dominant eye. Make it a fun learning game and do it often so that you will be able to spot a backward trend. These games have the added advantage of making your child more aware of any changes and more aware that something is not quite right with their vision.
  2. Squinting is one of the most obvious signs of vision issues and may signal that the child is nearsighted, farsighted or has an astigmatism, causing blurry vision.
  3. Holding books, hand-held devices or coloring/scribbling paper too close to their face can indicate a problem.
  4. Most toddlers have a habit of sitting right in front of the TV, especially when a favorite show comes on, but if your child resists moving back, you may have a problem.

Any one of these signs above should prompt an appointment with your local vision center's optometrist for further evaluation. A child as young as 3 or 4 should begin getting annual or bi-annual eye exams as part of their yearly physical so that problems can be spotted early.

Your optometrist may recommend glasses for your toddler. There are a wide array of eyeglass choices made especially for children. Look for impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. If your toddler resists glasses, point out how characters in books or movies, such as Harry Potter, wear glasses.

The importance of your child's vision in the development and exploration of their world cannot be overstated. A toddler experiences the world through their eyes, and clear vision allows them to learn and grow as they are meant to do. Catching eye problems as early as possible will give you and your child every advantage possible on the developmental road through childhood. Talk with an optometrist, like Richards Charles A OD, to see if you child could benefit from glasses.