While all parents worry about whether their child will have vision problems, there are a few simple things you can watch for if you are concerned that your child has vision problems.
The first step is to understand what the normal stage of vision are beginning at a baby and moving up to a toddler.
Consider the following things you can watch for and things you can do if you believe that something is wrong.
The First Stages of Sight
As soon as a baby is born they should be able to see shapes, light, and dark. In fact a newborn baby actually has the ability to bring objects or people in to focus for short periods of time.
Within the first week your baby should start to focus on your face more often and respond to facial changes you make.
For example, the baby should respond to you when you are talking to them by looking at your face and possibly making faces of their own. You may even see the beginning of a smile.
By the time your baby is a month old he or she should turn their head to find you at the sound of your voice. They will also start to follow objects as they are moved in front of them. At the age of six months your child should be aware of their own hands and toys[baby toys] that are given to them.
When Should You be Concerned?
While all babies will develop and respond at their own pace, there are certain things that should throw up a red flag. If by the age of three months your child doesn’t focus on your face or follow you when you move your head back and forth you may need to see a doctor or optometrist.
There are eye tests that can be done on babies that are non-invasive and simple. These tests will give you an idea of the state of your child’s vision. However, your doctor should also be checking your child’s eyes at regular checkups to see if there are any signs that something is wrong.
Watching For Infection and Injury
While infection and injury can occur in babies and toddlers, there are normally very clear signs that something is wrong. If your child’s eye seems red, puffy, or irritated that can be a sign that something is wrong.
However, it is not uncommon for a baby or toddler to scratch their eye or irritate it in the same way an adult would.
If the redness or irritation does persist you should call your pediatrician for suggestions as to what should be done. You should also contact your doctor immediately if you see a change in the color of your child’s eye or discharge draining from one or both eyes.
Visiting the Optometrist for the First Time
It is recommended that you schedule your child’s first eye doctor visit around the age of three. At this age most children can identify shapes or pictures on an eye chart. They are also able to state whether something hurts or causes discomfort. However, it is never too soon to be concerned with your child’s vision.