Children are not born with the visual abilities of adults and gradually develop the ability to see properly over time. It is in the first critical few years of life that children learn how to focus their eyes and process information that they take in with their eyes.
By following healthy vision practices, a parent can make sure that their child’s eyes remain as strong as possible. Difficulties with vision during infancy can create substantial obstacles in the development of vision, making it critical that parents detect any problems with a child’s vision as early as possible. This will prevent and identify more serious problems.
Some of the steps that parents can take to make sure that their child’s vision properly develops include remaining alert to vision problems, obtaining the assistance of a qualified ophthalmologist, and helping the child participate in age-appropriate activities. This article will address some of the more important steps in the proper development of a child’s vision.
Phase 1 – Birth to Four Months
Children in this age group are mostly able to focus on objects that are located only 8 to 12 inches from their face. As a result, children in this age group are frequently distinguishing between two targets or moving their eyes between images.
Children of this age also experience coordination issues with their eyes and commonly experience difficulty focusing on objects. Around three months of age, most children gain the ability to track moving objects.
Some of the ways a parent can help the development of their child’s vision capabilities at this time include frequently changing the position of the child’s crib, keeping toys within a child’s visual focus, talking to the child while walking around the room, and using a nightlight in the child’s room.
Phase 2 – Five to Eight Months
At this age, children gain the ability to control their eye movements and their hand-eye coordination also improves. Around the five month mark, children frequently gain the capability to use their eyes together to obtain a three dimensional view of objects. Children who are five months of age also obtain good color vision. At eight months, many children gain the ability to crawl, which helps improve coordination between their body and eyes.
To promote eye development for children of this age, parents can use mobiles that display various objects in the line of the child’s vision, letting children play on the floor, providing blocks that the child can hold in their hand, and move the child’s hands through various motions.
Phase 3 – Nine to Twelve Months
At the nine month period, children gain more mobility and strength. Around this time, many children gain the ability to grasp objects with their fingers. Also, around this time, a large number of children begin to crawl and walk.
Parents of children in this age group can help the development of a child’s vision by playing hide and seek with the child to promote the growth of visual memory, naming objects when talking so that the child begins to make associations, and helping the child to creep and crawl.
Phase 4 – One to Two Years
By this age, a child’s eye hand coordination and ability to perceive depth should be advanced. Children should also begin to recognize familiar objects and gain the ability to sufficiently hold a crayon or pen.
During this period, a parent can help the development of a child’s eyes by rolling a ball with the child and letting the child play with building blocks to facilitate coordination.
Detecting Signs of Eye Irritation in Young Children
Eye irritation is not common in children. Some children, however, experience difficulties with their vision. Some of the signs that parents should look for in children’s eyes include the following:
- Appearance of white pupils
- Constant turning of the eyes
- Discolored or encrusted eyelids
- Excessive tearing
- Extreme sensitivity to light
One particular eye condition that afflicts children involves yellow substance that forms around a child’s eyes. The most common reason why this occurs is that younger children have narrower tear ducts than adults or older children. This increases the chances of the ducts becoming blocked. Some parents, however, might worry that this yellow substance is indicative of an eye infection. If the skin around the child’s eyes appears red, bloodshot, or is sore, you should consult with a medical professional to determine if the child has an eye infection.
Know How To Handle Your Child’s First Eye Exam
Parents should take children at the age of six months to an optometrist or pediatric ophthalmologist for the child’s first eye exam. A knowledgeable eye care professional will be able to test the child’s farsightedness, eye movement ability, nearsightedness, and any eye health problems. Vision problems are much easier to treat if they are caught early.
Discover How Cliradex Can Help
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