Kids rely on their vision for the majority of their learning. Help your child by making yourself aware of the telltale signs of vision problems.
One in four children has an undiagnosed vision problem according to Prevent Blindness America. Roughly 80% of what children learn is visual, which means that if they can not concentrate, follow along in their books or on the board, or participate in sports or other activities, they will fall behind.
Vision problems are often mistaken for laziness, a learning disability, or ADHD and this often leads to poor performance. Poor performance leads to poor self-esteem, which leads to behavior problems.
August is Children’s Vision and Learning Month. The goal is to create awareness of the close relationship between vision and learning and to educate parents and those working with children to become more aware of the signs of vision problems.
Types Of Vision Problems
The most common eye problem is nearsightedness, also called myopia. But a 20/20 vision is not the only eye issue to care about. Here is a list of common eye problems found in kids:
- Farsightedness (hyperopia)
- Crossed or wandering eye
- Uneven focus
- Eye tracking
- Poor eye coordination
Many eye issues are easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses and can be picked up by a comprehensive vision exam. Since vision problems are common in school kids, speak to your child’s teacher as he or she might spot behavior indicating eye issues.
Vision Development In Infants
In the first few months of a baby’s life, they see clearly for only about 8-10 inches from their face. From 12-16 weeks, their eyesight starts to improve.
Over the next year, they develop depth perception, eye-hand coordination, eye-body coordination, the ability to judge distance, and they start to see further.
At this age, vision problems are very rare. The child’s first screening should be done at age three by your child’s pediatrician, doctor, or optometrist.
Telltale Signs Of Vision Problems In Children
Children do not always realize if they start to have vision problems. Kids need your help to pick up on the signs. Apart from taking them for regular eye tests, look out for the following tell-tales:
- Often complaining about headaches, which may be caused by eye strain.
- Short attention span.
- Excessive blinking, rubbing their eyes, or having excessive tears.
- Poor hand-eye coordination.
- Difficulty remembering what they read.
- Covering one eye or squinting to see better.
- Holding a book too close to their face or sitting too close to the television.
- Losing their place when reading or using their finger to guide them along.
- More sensitivity to light than normal.
- Avoiding activities needing near vision, like homework or participating in sports.
- Lower grades than usual.
- Difficulty in playing games, like struggling to catch a ball.
Help Your Child!
A child’s vision plays a critical part in their development. Make sure you take your kids for regular eye checkups and watch out for the signs of vision problems. By looking out for your child, you will make sure they have the best chance for a bright future.