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Besides life itself, God’s greatest gift to man is vision. Did you know that 80% of a child’s learning comes through his or her eyes? That is why early intervention is the key to success. By age 3 or 4, the child needs a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. A school screening or pediatric evaluation will not suffice. There are conditions such as “lazy eye” (amblyopia) that a child will not outgrow. Some symptoms of children’s vision problems are: 

  1. Decreased performance in school.

  2. Avoiding reading (the child does not like reading)

  3. Excessive blinking

  4. Rubbing eyes

  5. Trouble seeing 3D movies

These warrant an immediate examination.

Also, an important fact to remember in this information age we live in is pediatricians recommend only 2 hours of “screen time” per day. Screen time includes; television, computer time, computer games, video games, hand held video games, and iPads or Kindles.

What are some more serious disorders that your eye doctor looks for during the examination? Most common are severe nearsightedness (myopia), astigmatism, or farsightedness (hyperopia). These are corrected with glasses. However, more serious conditions may need surgery such as esotropia (the eye turns in), or exotropia (the eye turns out). Children will typically NOT outgrow these conditions, they need treatment.

A more rare but life threatening condition is a fast growing eye tumor called retinoblastoma. This tumor is very close to the brain and fast intervention is critical. This is a condition that parents might notice by looking at pictures of the eyes and noticing a “white pupil.”

On another note, a social injustice issue that is on the rise is Shaken Baby Syndrome. This condition causes brain and retinal hemorrhage, as well as retinal detachment and death. It is fine and normal to bounce a baby on your knee in a playful manner, but Shaken Baby Syndrome happens when a forceful angry shaking occurs by an adult. Although it is NEVER ok to shake any child, children under age 3 in particular have not developed strong enough neck muscles to protect vital organs like the brain and eye from damage.


Lastly, where do you go for good information on children’s vision? The best resource is your local eye care provider who can answer your questions personally. Other resources include:






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