From the television at home, to the whiteboard at school, nearly 80% of what a child learns is obtained visually. So it comes as no surprise that good vision is incredibly important for a growing child. But how are you supposed to know your child needs glasses if they never tell you? While your child should have regularly scheduled eye exams either at school or at a doctor’s office, these are a few things you should be on the lookout for in between checkups.
Squinting helps to momentarily improve your vision because it tricks your eye into thinking it’s looking through a smaller opening. Squinting and funny faces are normal, little kid behaviors, but if you notice your child is squinting whenever they have to read or pick something out, it could be a sign of poor vision.
Pointing to each word while reading.
When children are little and just learning how to read, following a sentence with their finger is not only okay, but it can actually help them learn to read faster. But overtime and with more experience, they should stop following along with their finger. When they don’t, many parents think it’s because they are having trouble comprehending what they’re reading, but it may just be because they’re having trouble literally seeing the words.
Sitting too close to the TV.
Sitting too close to the TV almost seems like a right of passage for most kids, as they all do it once in awhile. But if you’re noticing that your child is always sitting right in front of the TV or holding a phone up against their nose, it could be a sign of nearsightedness.
They’re bothered by bright light.
If your little one goes from a dimly lit room to the backyard, a little bit of light irritation is normal. But if after a few minutes of being outside they’re still bothered, it could be a sign of photophobia (a.k.a light sensitivity). You can easily combat sensitivity with a pair of children’s sunglasses, but you should still have your child checked by a doctor.
Overtime, uncorrected eye problems could lead to headaches, which are caused by blurry vision, and brow aches, which are caused by frequent squinting.
Eye care for children is a specialty here at Barry Wasserman’s. Along with his skills as a LASIK surgeon, Dr. Wasserman is a Fellowship trained, Board Certified Pediatric Ophthalmologist. On pediatric days (every Tuesday!) the adult waiting room is transformed to include toys and reading materials specifically for children to make the experience as pleasant as possible for our youngest patients.