This week I had a mom ask me, "I am concerned about my child's vision. What should I be looking for and what are signs of bad vision or eye issues?" I gave her what I thought was a pretty good answer and told her to discuss it with the pediatrician, but it did make me think, so I did some research and found some great suggestions by the AAP. Here is a portion of the article or click on the link below. Thanks AAP for being such a great resource for our parents.
How do I know if my child has a vision problem?Vision screening is a very important way to identify vision problems. During an exam the doctor looks for eye disease and checks to see if the eyes are working properly. Children with a family history of childhood vision problems are more likely to have eye problems themselves.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children have their eyes checked by a pediatrician at the following ages:
Newborn. All infants before discharge from the hospital should have their eyes checked in the newborn nursery for infections, defects, cataracts, or glaucoma. This is especially true for premature infants, infants who were given oxygen, and infants with multiple medical problems.
By 6 months of age. Pediatricians should screen infants at their well-baby visits to check for proper eye health, vision development, and alignment of the eyes.
At 3 to 4 years of age. All children should have their eyes and vision checked for any abnormalities that may cause problems with later development.
At 5 years of age and older. Your pediatrician should check your child's vision in each eye separately every year. If a problem is found during routine eye exams, your pediatrician may have your child see a pediatric ophthalmologist, an eye doctor trained and experienced in the care of children's eye problems. Your pediatrician can advise you on eye doctors in your area.
Warning signs of a vision problem in infants (up to 1 year of age)Babies older than 3 months should be able to follow or "track" an object, like a toy or ball, with their eyes as it moves across their field of vision.
If your baby can't make steady eye contact by this time or seems unable to see, let your pediatrician know. Before 4 months of age most infants occasionally cross their eyes. However, eyes that cross all the time or one eye that turns out is usually abnormal and is another reason to seek your pediatrician's advice.
Warning signs of a vision problem in preschool childrenIf your child's eyes become misaligned (strabismus), let your pediatrician know right away. However, vision problems such as a lazy eye (amblyopia) may have no warning signs, and your child may not complain of vision problems. Thus, it's important at this time to have your child's vision checked. There are special tests to check your child's vision.
Warning signs of a vision problem at any ageNo matter how old your child is, if you spot any one of the following, let your pediatrician know:
•Eyes that look crossed, turn out, or don't focus together
•White, grayish-white, or yellow-colored material in the pupil
•Eyes that flutter quickly from side-to-side or up-and-down
•Persistent eye pain, itching, or discomfort
•Redness in either eye that doesn't go away in a few days
•Pus or crust in either eye
•Eyes that are always watery
•Excessive rubbing or squinting of the eyes
•Eyes that are always sensitive to light
•Any change in the eyes from how they usually look.
If you are concerned or have any questions, please call our office and schedule and appointment to discuss it with your pediatrician. Have a wonderful Friday!