For most adults, eye care is largely taken for granted. But when it comes to children, it can be difficult to know what to look for with regard to eye care. The fact is, until they start school, your children probably won't be in many situations in which optimal vision is necessary, and for that reason you may not become aware if there are problems.
However, there are simple steps you can take at home to determine whether or not your child's eyes are naturally imperfect or suffering from any particular condition. Of course, going the simple route, you can always design a vision board (like the ones you've likely seen at your own optician's office) and compare your child's vision with your own. However, there are also a variety of legitimate eye tests you can find online to conduct at home. Acuvue provides helpful information on a few of the most common conditions to keep an eye out for in your children:
Ultimately, you should trust a professional optician with the concrete diagnosis of any of these conditions in your child, but you can at least gain an understanding of your child's eyes by understanding their effects and testing eyesight at home.
If you do determine that your child has an eye condition that requires corrective vision, you'll have to decide on which form of correction to go with – the ordinary options being contacts or glasses (as laser surgery is not recommended for children).
Many parents believe that young children should wear glasses for a few years, due to potential discomfort with contact lenses. However the truth is that there is no established age limit for contact lenses. In fact, many kids are getting them younger and younger, and it's really a matter of personal preference and comfort. Some parents find that their children vastly prefer contacts simply because they enable more activity and flexibility.
That said, glasses are a perfectly sound option. Some children are self-conscious about glasses, but you can find perfectly fashionable, and even fun options from certain providers like Zoobug. In the end, the important thing is to diagnose and solve any issues in your child's vision!
I am a preschool and primary school teacher and mum to 3 children. I have been involved in education since 1997 and have trained in a variety of educational specialist areas. It is with this expertise that I write articles to help parents and educators provide quality learning experiences for the children in their care.