Do you have a family history of vision problems? Are you unsure how to tell if your child is seeing right? This is a common problem which both new and experienced parents are faced with since babies can’t understand what they are seeing may not be how the image really looks.
Babies are very resilient and can adapt to handle their surroundings but there are some ways to tell if an exam is needed for your child. Eye care professionals can often start what is called a baseline eye exam as early as 6 months, and even detect problems with their vision this early.
Below you will find a few helpful hints to determine if your child needs a vision screening:
Family History – One of the most important things to know is the family history of both parents. If one or both parents have hereditary eye conditions or visual problems, a screening should be done when your child becomes old enough. This screening should be repeated every 2 years thereafter, unless the child is found to have a chronic or progressive eye problem that requires annual visits.
Hand- Eye Coordination – When your child reaches for a bottle or toy do they need a few tries to get it right? This may seem cute, but it can also indicate that the child is not seeing the image right. Sometimes we think it’s because they are learning and developing, and it could be in some cases, however it may be because they are having difficulty seeing what’s in front of them.
Straining & Squinting – On occasion a child may squint their eyes when looking at something, a squint with a smile maybe nothing to worry about but if you are noticing this frequently it may be a problem. Having their eyes examined may be necessary as they could be straining to see.
Clumsiness – Do you think your child is a bit clumsy? Do they frequently bump into things? This is a classic sign of struggling with depth perception. While it could just be them learning to walk or get around, you should take them in for an eye exam. It won’t hurt and it could help them greatly in the future.
Our children’s vision is important and unfortunately it often goes unchecked until their school years when more symptoms show up. Keep in mind that early detection is not just an adult concept. Finding eye conditions early can help with treatment options and best quality of vision.