It’s true, children born with a visual deficiency or who have developed one while still very young will probably not complain because they have no recollection of ever having seen well.
This makes it even more important for parents to pay attention, to be able to detect certain signs that could indicate a vision problem. Here’s a few of them:
Sitting too close to the screen
Does your child keep moving closer to the screen? We tend to believe that this can harm children's eyes. In reality, it is more likely a sign that the child already has difficulty seeing, which would explain why they move closer and closer.
Having difficulty reading
If your child has problems with reading, maybe they simply don’t see well. According to the New Brunswick Association of Optometrists, 6 out of 10 children who have difficulty reading have an undiagnosed or untreated vision problem.
Your daughter has a hard time catching balls? Does your son spill his drinks often? Some children (and adults!) are naturally clumsier than others. However, it’s possible that such “clumsiness” could be caused by a visual condition. It may be worth looking into!
Closing one eye
Children suffering from double vision may have a tendency to close one eye to try and see better. This could also indicate other problems. If you notice this, it pays to be vigilant.
Any eye anomaly
The easiest sign to detect is, by far, a structural anomaly. Whether it’s a spot on the eye, redness, itching, a misalignment of the eyes or anything else that seems out of the ordinary, do not assume it is normal. Consult a specialist as soon as possible.
What you should do if you suspect a vision problem
If ever you suspect your child could have a visual deficiency, quickly schedule an appointment with an eye care professional. In fact, most Canadian provinces provide free eye exams for children so there is really no reason to wait for a sign to show up; have your children's eyes checked just in case.