By TEIS Early Intervention Staff
During the first months of life, your child’s eyes are experiencing the world for the first time, and their primary focus is only 8 to 10 inches away (about the distance to a parent’s face when being held.)
At first, baby’s eyes may appear to be unfocused, to wander, or be crossed. It’s not an early concern, as your baby won’t begin to follow moving objects and reach for things until about 3 months of age.
Between 5 to 8 months, depth perception and color vision are improving, and eye-body coordination skills start to play a role as your baby learns to crawl.
For the rest of their first year, baby learns to grasp and play with objects and makes progress toward his or her first steps. By now, your child should be able to judge distances and throw objects with some precision.
Between 1 and 2 years of age, hand-eye coordination and depth perception are usually well developed, and your child should be able to recognize familiar objects, faces, pictures in books, and to explore their world visually and physically with confidence.
Children should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. An optometrist or ophthalmologist is trained to check for the development of visual acuity, proper eye movement and eye teaming skills, as well as for eye health.
They’ll look for issues like amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed or misaligned eyes), and focusing problems.
Causes of vision impairment in children that your eye doctor can screen for include:
Why is detecting early vision problems so important for your child?
Infants start to engage with their world from day one, and their vision is a primary tool for learning about that world. When their eyesight is impaired, it is a cause for immediate concern.
Just a few of the issues related to early childhood vision problems include:
Of course, it takes some care, observation, and understanding to know how or when your child might be having vision problems.
While it may be difficult to know exactly how your child is seeing the world, there are some easy to recognize signs that all parents can be on the watch for.
Would you like to learn more about childhood vision problems? Call TEIS Early Intervention at 412-271-8347 or Text INFO to 412-543-8398 During Regular Business Hours (8:00 am to 4:00 pm, M-F).
American Optometric Association | Infant Vision: Birth to 24 Months of Age
Center for Parent Information & Resources | Signs of Visual Impairment
PreventBlindness.org | Prevalence and Impact of Vision Disorders in U.S. Children