As your child develops, their eyes develop along with them. Many people think that children are born with a fully functioning set of eyes, but the reality is that when babies are born, they have about 20/400 vision. They see the world as very blurry. While this does dissipate within a week, to the point where they can focus around 8 to 12 inches from their faces, their eyes and eyesight still have a long way to go in their development. Here is a comprehensive explanation of how children’s vision develops.
As said before, babies cannot see very well after they are born, and their sight will not improve for about a week. At this time babies only hold their gaze for a couple of seconds.
Also, newborns only see in bold colours and black and white. This is one reason that so many baby toys are brightly coloured. So while you may want to paint your babies room pastel, know that it is not a very stimulating colour.
With babies, there are milestones for each month of their vision development.
- Track objects horizontally
- Make eye contact
- Moves head and eyes towards light sources
- Vertical and circular tracking
- Face recognition
- Eyes moving independently from the head
- Studies hands and feet
- Increased light sensitivity
- Makes eye contact for more extended periods of time
- Moves gaze left to right
- Can focus almost to the other side of a room
- Can observe objects falling or rolling away
- Enjoys looking at their own reflection
- Recognizing objects that are partially hidden
- Can see small objects such as breadcrumbs
- Is interested in pictures
- Sustained visual interest
- Can play hide and seek
- Looks through windows and recognizes people outside
- Recognizes people in pictures
If you are concerned about your baby’s vision, one thing you can do to check at home is cover each of their eyes one at a time. If they seem to have difficulty looking out of one eye, or do not like having one eye covered, it may mean that they are having trouble seeing out of that eye.
Toddlers & Preschoolers
Vision at this time in your child’s life should be fully developed, and they should have had their first eye exam. Sometimes it is not apparent that children have any vision problems, but an optometrist will be able to check this and treat any issues that may arise.
4 & 5
Children between the ages of 4 and 5 need to be monitored for having a lazy eye. If a child has a lazy eye it is very treatable; however, treatment is most successful before the age of seven.
nearsightedness usually starts between the ages of six to thirteen. Make sure that your child has yearly eye exams to monitor their vision. Eyes continue to develop and grow as your child does. One significant indicator that there is something wrong with your child’s vision is complaints of headaches or tired eyes after school. If this is happening, take them to the eye doctor right away so that if they need glasses, they can get them.