As a parent, you are always going to be worried about your child’s health and their development. You also want to know that they are able to do their best at school without any problems or difficulties. However, there may be some things that you might not notice that could be affecting your child’s learning and development. One of these is their eyesight, which can become a problem without them noticing. Here are a few tips on how you can spot those little signs that your child has a problem with their vision.
By far the best way to see if your child has any problems with their eyes is to get them checked from an early age. It is advised that babies have their first eye check at six months followed by another at three years old. The reason you need to get their eyes checked so early is partly that it can be difficult to find out how much they can see without getting them checked by an optician. If you delay these checks, it might mean their early development is affected. Of course, you should also get them checked outside of these times if you suspect that there are any issues with their vision. It is particularly important if your child has any medical conditions that can affect their eyes.
Sitting Too Close to the TV
You may have heard some parents tell their children that if they sit too close to the television, they will ruin their eyesight. It is a myth that it can completely ruin your eyesight, but, if your child is sitting close to the television, then this could mean they already have a problem. Although this on its own isn’t definitive, it is a good idea to monitor other things they do as it could be a sign that they are nearsighted.
Reading Books Too Close to Their Faces
Another possible indication of being nearsighted is reading because this involves a lot of work for the eyes. If you have observed that they have been holding their books close to their face, then this can be a good indication that they are struggling to see the words properly. In many cases, this can be a better indication of an issue than sitting too close to the TV.
You know that when your children are tired or upset, they will often rub their eyes. It is a natural reaction and is common for many children. However, there are other times when you should think about a possible vision problem. If you find that your child is rubbing their eyes when they are trying to concentrate or when they are active, then this could be an indication of them trying to focus on something. You will need to monitor the problem, and if it keeps reoccurring, then you need to get some more info on a good optician in your area so they can be checked.
Losing Their Place While Reading or Using Their Finger
When your child learns to read, they will often lose their place and have to use their finger to know where they are on the page. It can also help them to break up a word and sound it out, so they can understand complicated words better. After some time of reading like this, they should be able to start reading without having to guide themselves with their finger. They should also be able to keep their place on a page without losing it too often. It can be a gradual process, but they should get there eventually. If, however, you are finding that they still have to use their finger to guide them, then you should ask them to try reading without it. If they struggle and keep losing their place, then this could be an indication of a vision problem.
Sensitivity to Light
There are some eye conditions that you might only notice in some situations. For example, if you notice that your children have a hard time with bright lighting, sunshine, and camera flashes, then this could be a symptom of photophobia. Such conditions are more severe than simply squinting in bright sunshine. Photophobia can cause headaches and nausea when the child is exposed to bright light. If your child complains about these situations, then you should seek a medical opinion. You should also be aware that some viruses such as meningitis can also produce such sensitivity to light, and headaches, so you should speak to your doctor as soon as possible.
Closing One Eye to Read or Watch TV
Sometimes, there can be other problems with your child’s eyes other than focusing. There can be some conditions such as binocular vision problems that stop the eyes working together correctly. The result is often double or blurred vision which can be frustrating for your child. One way that children sometimes solve this issue is to look at things through only one eye. If you see your child frequently doing this, then it could be that they have this problem, or perhaps a refractive issue. It is something they will often do for close work such as reading or looking at a computer screen. If they are old enough to tell you, ask them if they have an issue when looking with both eyes.
Problems Learning at School
One of the first signs that your child has an issue with their eyes is at school. It is usually because they spend a lot of time in class and have to read from the board or books. Your child’s teacher might notice they are squinting or asking what something on the board says. It could also start to affect their grades because they cannot read the information.
You should be able to pick up these issues quickly and get your child seen by an optician. Some issues can be corrected with glasses, so it is important to get them tested.