The importance of vision in the development of children

09 July
Though we’re all probably aware, we almost certainly take for granted just how important vision is for the development of our youngsters. Not only in learning to read and being able to understand fractions on the blackboard, but in developing key skills from spatial awareness and motor skills to sensory development and social skills.

The difficulty for parents is that young children aren’t able to understand nor articulate issues if they arise. That’s why it’s imperative to see that your child is checked regularly from infancy throughout their childhood. 

That said, knowledge is certainly power in important matters such as these, so if you’re interested to learn some tell-tale signs of common issues, what they are and what you need to do, here’s a breakdown of just that.



The Most Common Problems

[1] All About Vision website details that ‘Refractive errors are the most common cause of vision problems among school-age children.’

But what exactly is a refractive error? 

Put simply, refractive errors occur when the eyes ability to focus is misaligned. This includes things like short-sightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatisms; all of which you may know about or have heard of. 

Though these can cause issues, they can all be easily picked up during an eye test and in most cases can be corrected easily with prescription lenses. 

We all know how quickly children grow up. During these early years, time seems to absolutely fly by! That’s why it’s paramount that checks are scheduled regularly in order to give us the best of catching any issues as early as possible.

Warning signs to keep in mind

[2] To help you spot anything out of the ordinary here are some of the early warning signs of a deterioration in your child’s eye health. Keep an eye out for these behaviours:
  • Rubbing eyes frequently or squinting.
  • Closing one eye or purposefully trying to obscure their vision to read.
  • Complaining that their eyes hurt, especially when using computers, tablets and reading books.
  • Constant headaches and a lack of focus/attention when you’re interacting with them.
  • A sudden change in their academic performance at school.
  • Avoidance, especially when this is out of the ordinary. A sudden change in wanting to do certain activities compared to normal. Have they suddenly stopped reading or writing, finding any excuse not to do homework?
  • Sitting very close to the television, holding books and tablets close to their faces.
  • Confusion when doing activities like reading, can they not quite keep their place when reading from a page?
  • Eyes tearing excessively running and sensitivity to light whether natural or man-made.
If you notice any of these behaviours or if you just want reassurance that your child is reaching their full potential, get in touch and book in an examination. Our eye exams are all available FREE on the NHS for the under-16s, or anyone aged 16-18 who’s still in full-time education. 

We pride ourselves at Bayfields in offering an in-depth eye exam you might not get elsewhere. For something as important as your child’s visions and development in general there’s no reason leaving anything to chance. 

Our highly experienced team will provide you with the all-important information and help you need to give you peace of mind surrounding any issues your child might be having with their vision. We can even schedule your child's appointment at the end of your own!