Your Child’s Vision

How Children See The World

Children are usually not able to tell you if they can’t see well. At John O’Connor Optometrist we recommend getting your child’s vision assessed early so we can set them up with better vision for life.

Our friendly staff have been trained to help put children at ease and make regular eye checks a pleasant experience for all concerned.

Children’s Eyesight At Risk

Children’s eyesight is getting worse. The latest evidence shows short-sightedness has increased from twenty to forty percent of the population in the last twenty-five years, probably due to lifestyle factors. Numerous studies have linked increased time spent indoors focusing on near objects, such as computers, TVs and mobile phones, as the key factors.

Natural daylight and looking into the middle distance are both needed for eyesight to develop correctly when children are young.

Eye Exams For Your Child

Short-sightedness in children typically develops during the early school years and progresses more rapidly during the pre-teens, while the eye is forming.

Many vision problems and eye diseases can be detected and treated early. Our optometrists recommend children have an eye exam by no later than 6 months of age, then again at 3 years of age, and again before starting school. School-aged children then need an eye exam every two to three years, even if they have no vision issues. If there is a history of myopia in the family, it is recommended they have an eye test every six months.

Prescriptions change frequently because vision matures along with your child, so if your child does require prescription glasses or contact lenses, schedule regular annual visits.

Our optometrists can also ensure your child has the necessary visual skills, such as using the eyes as a team, peripheral vision, ease of focusing from distance to near and eye/hand coordination, that make seeing the world easier.

Have you noticed your child covering up one eye while reading? Is your child falling behind at school? It might be time to book an optician appointment.

Spotting Eye Problems

Keeping an eye on your child’s vision: what to look for? If you notice crossed eyes, or any eye problems, bring your child to see us at our Newmarket Optometrist or our Henderson Optometrist. We can give your child a thorough eye check. If caught early, eye conditions can often be corrected.

Signs that your child may have eye problems can include:

  • frequent eye rubbing
  • straining or tilting of the head to see better
  • sitting too close to the TV
  • extreme light sensitivity
  • poor visual tracking (following an object)
  • abnormal alignment or movement of the eyes (after 6 months of age)
  • chronic redness of the eyes
  • chronic tearing up of the eyes
  • a white pupil instead of black

In school-aged children other signs to watch for include:

  • being unable to see objects at a distance
  • having trouble reading the whiteboard
  • squinting
  • difficulty reading; losing their place while reading, or using a finger to guide their eyes
  • sitting too close to the television, computer screens, or holding a book too close
  • closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
  • complaining of headaches or tired eyes

Call 09 522 1283 to speak to our Newmarket optometrists to let us know any concerns you may have regarding your child’s vision. To speak to an optometrist in Henderson call 09 836 1731.