By Richard Tenczar, MD, FAAP
July 30, 2021
Category: Child Health Care
We all want our children to be healthy and to have the best chance for success, especially once they start school. Of course, your child must be getting regular vision screenings with their pediatricians. After all, vision is critical to your child’s ability to learn, communicate, and understand, and vision problems can impact your child’s school performance and quality of life. Could your child need glasses? Here are some telltale signs.
You Catch Them Squinting When Reading
When your eyes have trouble focusing on an image, squinting may actually help your child see or focus better. Your child may squint when reading anything far away such as a menu behind a restaurant counter or when reading the chalkboard at school. Your child’s teacher may even let you know that your child needed to move closer to the front to see what was written on the chalkboard. This is a telltale sign that your child needs to have their vision evaluated by their pediatrician.
Sitting Close to the TV
Another sign that your child may have trouble with their vision is if they put phones and other electronic devices close to their face to see it. Your child may also sit really close to the TV. These could be signs of nearsightedness.
If your child’s eyes have been overworked and straining all day your child might complain of frequent headaches, particularly in the evening.
Difficulties in School
When parents and teachers notice that their child is having trouble focusing on work they may immediately think that they have ADHD, but sometimes bad vision is actually the culprit. If your child can’t properly see the board, it’s no surprise that their attention focuses on other things. This is when you should talk to your child and find out if they are having trouble seeing the board. It might not be behavioral issues, it might just mean that they need to get an eye exam.
If you are noticing changes in your child’s vision, or if your child mentions having blurry vision or trouble seeing, you must schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician as soon as possible. While your pediatrician does have the tools necessary for hearing and vision screenings, they can also refer your child to a pediatric optometrist who can provide further and specialized vision testing and fit them with glasses, if necessary.