Childhood is a critical time for vision development. Nearly 80% of what a child leans throughout schooling is visual, arguably making vision the most important of the five senses. Your child’s visual skills start developing during pregnancy, and they continue to evolve as your child grows. Undetected vision problems can cause developmental and educational delays in children, so it’s vital to schedule annual eye exams.
Infant Vision Development
Your infant’s vision starts developing during pregnancy, so avoid toxins in any form as they can cause serious vision problems. At birth, babies only see black, white, and shades of gray, and are unable to focus on objects for several months.
As your child grows, they can begin to notice the difference between high contrast colors. By the age of six months, your child can see color, has a sharper vision distinction, and has primary hand-eye coordination skills.
It’s a good idea to schedule your child’s first eye exam at six months to make sure their eyes are healthy and are on the right developmental track. Detection of eye health issues and vision problems at this stage can help to ensure setbacks in learning and growth don’t occur.
When your infant begins to crawl and potentially walk, they are learning to coordinate their body movements and their vision. Over time, your child will become better at judging distances. During this time, though, your child will be more prone to injuries such as bumps, bruises, and eye injuries, so it’s vital to ensure that your infant’s vision is on track to help prevent these injuries from happening.
Early Childhood Vision Development
During these years, your child will be growing, developing, and improving their visual skills. After six months, the next eye exam should be at three years old. Even if you don’t think your child has vision problems, your child is growing and changing. A comprehensive eye exam before your child enters school provides enough time to catch and correct any vision problems.
During the early stages, your child is discovering how to integrate their vision and body position to complete new tasks. They learn this by playing games, throwing a ball, and riding a bike, for example. Children are also working on developing their motor skills. The primary way preschool-age children are learning is through writing their names and alphabet.
Between the ages of three to six is when you might begin to notice your child is showing signs of a vision problem. If your child complains about headaches or tired eyes, they might have a minor vision problem. Signs of vision problems include squinting, tilting of the head, frequently rubbing eyes, and closing one eye to see. Additionally, look for your child sitting too close to a TV, holding a book too close, or avoiding activities that require near or distance vision. Some of these activities include coloring, reading, playing ball, or tag.
If you notice any symptoms or behavior, schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Your child needs to have all of the necessary tools required to succeed, and we can help!