Children's Vision

Your child may not tell you they have a vision problem because they may think the way they see is normal, and vision changes can occur without you noticing them. Vision problems have a strong link with learning difficulties and educational outcomes. These problems can usually be managed or corrected by a series of consultations with an optometrist. Your child should receive an eye examination at least once every two years and more frequently if recommended by an optometrist at our Adelaide or Woodville practice. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated, the more likely treatment will be successful.

For more information on children's vision, please see the links below:

Signs of a Vision Problem

Vision Training

Amblyopia

Colorimetry

60% of children who are ‘problem learners’ have been found to suffer from undetected vision problems. It is advised that all parents have their children’s eyes tested as part of the Children’s Vision Campaign.

Undetected vision problems are estimated to affect approximately one in four Australian children - or 600,000 nationally - which may contribute to learning difficulties in reading, writing, viewing a whiteboard, computer use and other classroom activities. A review undertaken as part of the National Children’s Vision Screening Project reported most children with academic or behavioural problems fail one or more visual tests.

Vision plays a significant part in the learning process of a child and as such, there is a definite link between vision impairment and educational outcomes. We all rely on good vision to see clearly. Vision problems can make learning difficult and stressful and prevent children from achieving their full potential. Parents and teachers should watch for signs that a child may have a vision problem, including avoidance of reading and writing, lower comprehension and short attention span. These are sometimes incorrectly suspected as the outcomes of learning disabilities such as dyslexia or attention deficits. Most importantly, the common vision problems among school-aged children can, with early detection, be easily managed or corrected by an optometrist.

Innovative Eye Care partner with KidsNetwork (www.kidsnetwork.com.au) who work with children to help them learn more effectively. Innovative Eye Care also participates in Children’s Vision Day each year, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of looking after the health of children’s eyes throughout their schooling. We enjoy visiting some of our local schools and talking to children about their eyes, as well as talking with their teachers and parents.

We recommend that children have a full eye examination with an optometrist before starting school and regularly thereafter. Eye examinations attract a Medicare rebate and no referral is required.

Signs that may indicate your child has a vision problem include:

  • Often blinking or rubbing their eyes
  • Exhibiting a short attention span
  • Avoidance of reading and any activity involving looking up close
  • Skipping or omitting words and lines when reading
  • Frequent headaches, especially around the eyes or the front of the head
  • Covering or closing one eye when reading - they may not realise they are doing it!
  • Tilting the head to one side
  • Holding reading materials up close, sitting close to the television, etc.
  • One eye noticeably turning out or in, especially when tired or stressed
  • Seeing double
  • Complaining of blurred vision at distance or near
  • Losing place on a page when reading
  • Difficulty remembering what they have read

For a full list of the signs of a vision problem, check out this page.

Unfortunately, parents and teachers often incorrectly assume that if a child passes a school screening test, there is no vision problem. However, many school vision screenings only test for distance visual acuity. A child who can see small print in the distance can still have a vision problem. In reality, the vision skills needed for successful reading and learning are much more complex.

Even if a child passes a school vision screening test, they should receive a comprehensive optometric examination if:

  • They show any of the signs or symptoms of a vision problem listed above
  • They are not achieving up to their potential at school
  • They are minimally able to achieve at school, but have to use excessive time and effort to do so

Visit our vision training page for more information about the factors involved in clear and comfortable vision, and what Innovative Eye Care can do if there are problems with your child’s vision.