Important Information about Pediatric Vision

Properly managing your child’s visual health is critical to developing a platform for success in future endeavours. Though many schools and pediatricians offer vision screening, this does not replace the necessary eye exams provided by your optometrist.

Infant Vision

Your baby’s visual system develops gradually over their first few months. So, at roughly six months of age, you should bring your baby to get their first eye examination. In this appointment, doctors will test for a wide variety of issues. If your child is found to have an eye condition, vision development and optical conditions can be more easily corrected when treatment is begun early. Unless otherwise indicated, your next visit can be at the age of three.

Birth – 8 Months of Age

Milestone achievements for the first four months are your baby following moving objects with their eyes, reaching for things, and gaining accuracy in both of these tasks. To assist the development, use a nightlight or other dim lamps in your baby’s room; change the crib’s position frequently, and your child’s position in it. Keep reach-and-touch toys within your baby’s focus – about eight to twelve inches away from their face. There are several helpful games you can play to facilitate eye movement and coordination, such as ‘patty-cake’ and ‘peek-a-boo’.

8 – 12 Months of Age

Over the following four months, when your baby gains mobility, they can be expected to use both eyes together, gain depth perception, and throw objects with improved perfection. Acts such as crawling facilitate hand-eye coordination. Other useful measures include providing toys your baby can take apart, and items your baby can hold and see simultaneously.

1 – 2 Years of Age

During the course of the following year, coordination continues to develop and abstractions are more accessible. At this time, walking can be encouraged, and items like puzzles, blocks, and balls facilitate optical improvement. There are always measures you can take to help your child’s vision succeed, so during your next eye exam, ask your optometrists about what games or activities may be used to help your child thrive.

Preschool Vision

Over the course of the preschool years, your child will develop visually guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills, and visual-motor skills which will set the stage for reading.

 

It is important to keep an eye on potential visual development issues, including a compromised attention span relative to age, difficulty with coordination during playtime, and behavioural anomalies such as avoiding colouring and puzzles. In the event that any of these issues arise, contact our optical health team to schedule a checkup.

 

There are several activities that may assist your child in developing these necessary visual skills. Some of these helpful tasks include:

  • Reading out loud

  • Letting your child see you reading

  • Providing a chalkboard and finger paints

  • Supplying differently shaped and sized blocks

  • Offering opportunities to play on playgrounds

  • Giving the chance to learn and develop balance

By the time your child reaches the age of 3, you should seek out a thorough eye exam to ensure proper visual development. In the event that there is an issue, your doctor can provide treatment to address the specific concern. Provided everything is progressing appropriately, the next optical visit is expected for the age of 5.

School Age Vision

Since the majority of information absorbed during school is visual, providing a foundation for a successful education begins with routine eye exams. There are many optical skills employed during the school years, including:

  • Near vision: the ability to see clearly at 10-13 inches

  • Distance vision: the ability to see clearly beyond an arm’s reach

  • Binocular coordination: being able to use both eyes together

  • Eye movement skills: the ability to aim the eyes accurately, move smoothly, and shift focus quickly and accurately

  • Focusing skills: being able to keep both eyes accurately focused at the proper distance, while also being able to change focus quickly

  • Peripheral awareness: the ability to have awareness of things located to the side while staring straight ahead

  • Eye-Hand Coordination: being able to use the eyes and hands together

Undetected or uncorrected vision issues can cause children to suffer both socially and personally, often resulting in headaches, fatigue, and eyestrain issues. It is important, as a parent, to be aware of potential visual processing issues; and, if any are present, to promptly address them with your family’s optometrist. Some methods of assessing the presence of these issues include:

  • Losing their place when reading

  • Avoiding close work

  • Holding reading material excessively close

  • Rubbing their eyes frequently

  • Presence of headaches

  • Turning or tilting head to use one eye only

  • Frequent reversals when reading and writing

  • Omitting or confusing small words during reading

  • Using finger to maintain place when reading

  • Performing below potential consistently

Since children most often will not notice visual issues, it is important to visit the eye doctor annually. This way, if needed, our optometrists can prescribe treatment, including vision therapy, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.

Vision Therapy and Amblyopia

Amblyopia, or lazy eye, impacts millions of children every year, occurring when one eye is used less than the other, something that happens for a number of reasons. If one eye is crossed or turns out, the child sees double, so they learn to effectively shut off, or ignore that eye. The same effect can result from one eye being nearsighted and the other being farsighted.

 

At one point, lazy eye was considered untreatable, unless it was corrected by the age of 8. While there are many optometrists who believe that amblyopia can be corrected with therapy at any point, methods are generally more successful before the age of 8.

 

Treatments vary depending on the severity of the condition, the child’s age, and the treating optometrist. Typically, when children are young, the strong eye will be patched, allowing the other eye to regain strength and effectiveness. Therapies also include exercises to strengthen the weaker eye. Vision therapy usually takes several hours a week and can be performed in the doctor’s office and at home. It will often correct the underlying reason for the lazy eye. Very small children can improve in a month or two, while older children may take several months to a year to respond.

Technology’s Impact

As technology takes an increasingly pervasive role in children’s lives, it is important to keep an eye out for potential issues caused by screens. Extensive use of computers, tablets, and other gadgets result in discomfort, fatigue, blurry vision, and headaches. Since children are still developing, they are more susceptible to this damage for many reasons, including:

  Limited degree of self-awareness

  • This causes kids to continue with rewarding tasks (like video games) for extensive amounts of time without taking breaks, leading to eye irritation and dryness, as well as the inability to smoothly transition between points of focus.

  High levels of adaptability

  • Children often ignore issues that would be addressed by adults as they adapt to the glare of a screen, causing excessive eye strain. Additionally, children will typically accept blurred vision, nearsightedness, and other vision problems, since they don’t know any difference.

  Children are smaller than adults

  • Computers, laptops, tablets, and cell phones are not made to fit children. Binocular vision as well as arm, neck, and back discomfort can develop.

  Children often use laptops, cell phones and other gadgets with substandard lighting

  • This can add to excessive glare and issues with adjusting the eye to different levels of light.

Considering the above, children clearly need different setups to be able to comfortably and safely use a laptop or a tablet. Some simple steps can be taken to add ease to their eyesight without having to forego technology itself. These include:

  • Keeping up with regular eye exams

  • Strictly enforcing screen time rules

  • Carefully checking and adjusting the computer’s height

  • Assessing the lighting for glare from the screen

  • Reducing the room’s lighting to match the computer screen

In order to maintain your child’s eye health, ensure that you take all necessary precautions, especially staying up to date with eye exams.

Sports Vision and Lenses

Sports vision refers to a particular set of optical skills required by your children to engage in sporting activities. Often, it is easy to identify, and even rectify issues related to sports vision. These troubles include:

  • Dynamic visual acuity: The ability to see objects when they are moving quickly. Improve this skill by identifying letters glued to a rotating turntable.

  • Visual concentration: The ability to ignore surrounding distractions. Improve this by ignoring a willing friend who will behave erratically in your periphery

  • Eye tracking: Following an object with your eyes only. Improve this by watching a ball in motion with a book balanced on your head.

  • Eye-hand-body coordination: How your muscles react to information gleaned through your eyes. Improve this by jumping up and down while catching a ball thrown from different angles.

  • Visual memory: The ability to process and remember complex, fast-moving images. To improve this look at a picture for a second, turn away, and then reconstruct the image. Increase the time between these steps as you improve.

  • Peripheral vision: The ability to see things out of the corner of your eye. To improve, try watching TV with your head turned to one side.

  • Visual reaction time: The speed whereby your brain interprets and reacts. To improve, play catch with your back to your friend, only turning to catch the ball when they say the word.

  • Focus flexibility: Allows focus on objects at varying distances. To improve, place two similar objects at varying distances, then practice shifting your focus between them.

  • Depth perception: The means by which you judge distance. Improve this by a friend pointing a straw at you, parallel to the ground; then, at a distance of a couple of feet, practice throwing a toothpick into the straw.

There are many measures that can be taken to improve overall visual performance during sports. The quality of visual performance is best when the eyes are free of injuries. Each sport has different demands, finding the best lens and sports glasses for your child is a great first step to set success.

Sports Frame and Lens Chart

Proper use of sports lenses works to prevent eye-related injuries which is important since:

  • Every 13 minutes, a person with a sports-related eye injury visits an emergency room

  • More than 100,000 sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year

  • More than 90% of all eye injuries can be prevented with the use of appropriate protective eyewear

  Baseball
Frame Sport goggle
  Shield w/ interchangeable lenses w/ sports strap
Flip up with Rx w/ sports strap
Wrap around w/ sports strap
Lens Brown Sunglass– best against blue sky or green grass
  A/R absorbs glare at night off stadium lights (lets more light through lens)
Yellow cuts glare but cuts visual acuity slowing reaction times
U/V protection on all lenses
  Basketball
Frame Sport goggle
  Shield w/ sports strap
Wrap around w/ sports strap
Lens Clear lens
  A/R absorbs glare from lights (lets more light through lens)
Yellow cuts glare but cuts visual acuity slowing reaction times
  Cycling
Frame Wrap around w/ sports strap
  Shield w/ sports strap
Frame must have air vents to prevent fogging
Lens Interchangeable lenses for different times of day
  Grey is darkest, brown increases contrast
Low light or overcast days– vermilion or yellow
Night clear w/ A/R
Photochromics
  Fishing
Frame Any frame –style decision
  Cable temples, sport strap or cord
Lens Polarized
  Low light -Vermilion or rose
Brown Polarized
Amber polarized for high contrast
  Football
Frame Helmet compatible Sport goggle (Rec Specs)
Lens Clear lens
  If light sensitive use a slight gray tint
  Golf
Frame Oversized or no bottom on frame
Lens Single vision or bifocals set very low and out of the way
  Brown or amber polarized lens will increase contrast between the white ball
and the greens or the sky
  Yellow lens for late in day or overcast days
  Grey reduces light and keeps colors neutral
  Hunting / Shooting Sports
Frame Must sit high on the face
  Interchangeable lenses for different times of day and different lighting conditions
Lens Low light—clear w/A/R A/R cuts reflections of light from glasses
  Yellow tint absorbs blue light enhances contrast
Target orange for Clay or trap shooting
Vermillion- Highlights orange and softens green. Good for seeing target
against green tree background
Green or blue -Enhances black target. Medium to low light conditions
  Motocross
Frame Form fitting goggle with air vents
Lens Brown Polarized to cut reflected glare and increase contrast
  Running
Frame Lightweight Shield look for comfort and security
  Wrap around frame to block sun and wind
Lens Brown Polarized to cut glare reflected off concrete and increase contrast
  Photobrown polarized to cut glare and change with different lighting conditions
  Racquetball
Frame Sport goggle (Rec Specs)
  Shield w/ sports band
Padding between frame and face is recommended
Lens Clear w/ A/R coating
  Scuba /Snorkeling
Frame Scuba mask that fits tight to the face—watertight seal
Lens Glass forms best seal with mask
  SeaVision's patented color enhancing masks is the best
  Skiing /Snowboarding
Frame Wrap around Plastic frame or ski goggle
Lens Polarized brown or amber in color will provide the best contrast against a white background
  Photochromic lenses - darker in sunlight, - lighter in an overcast sky- better for low light
Vermilion or Rose is a general purpose tint that heightens visual acuity and enhances color
Yellow is a long time standard in ski and shooting sports
Green is a good all-purpose lens color
  B
A
S
E
B
A
L
L
B
A
S
K
E
T
B
A
L
L
C
Y
C
L
I
N
G
D
R
I
V
I
N
G
F
I
S
H
I
N
G
F
O
O
T
B
A
L
L
G
O
L
F
H
U
N
T
I
N
G
M
O
T
O
R
C
R
O
S
S
R
U
N
N
I
N
G
R
A
C
K
E
T
B
A
L
L
S
C
U
B
A
-
S
N
O
R
K
L
I
N
G
S
K
I
I
N
G
S
O
C
C
E
R
S
W
I
M
M
I
N
G
T
E
N
N
I
S
Frame
PROTECTIVE SPORT GOGGLES Tick Tick       Tick         Tick
  Tick    
SHIELD Tick Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick Tick Tick
WRAP AROUND FRAME Tick Tick Tick Tick     Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick   Tick
PADDING Tick Tick       Tick               Tick    
SPORTS BAND Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick     Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick   Tick
INTERCHANGABLE LENSES Tick   Tick Tick Tick   Tick Tick Tick Tick     Tick     Tick
Lens Color
CLEAR Tick Tick Tick     Tick   Tick   Tick Tick     Tick Tick  
DARK BROWN
increases contrast and aids in depth perception
Tick   Tick Tick Tick     Tick Tick Tick     Tick     Tick
DARK GREY     Tick Tick       Tick   Tick            
SMOKE-light grey                             Tick  
AMBER
increases contrast and aids in depth perception
      Tick Tick               Tick Tick   Tick
GREEN               Tick                
TEAL
brings out yellow tennis ball
                            Tick  
VERMILLION/ROSE
cuts glare on overcast days
    Tick Tick       Tick   Tick     Tick      
BLUE               Tick                
YELLOW
increases lights intensity
Tick Tick         Tick Tick         Tick      
POLARIZED
cuts out reflected glare
Tick     Tick Tick   Tick   Tick              
TARGET ORANGE
enhances target against green background
              Tick                
PHOTOCHROMIC Tick   Tick       Tick                 Tick
U/V FILTER Tick   Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick Tick     Tick Tick   Tick
A/R COATING Tick     Tick       Tick                

Sporting success increases and injuries lessen, when you focus on your eye health and safety. To make the most out of your athletic endeavours, identify and use the proper safety gear, practice exercises to improve visual performance; and, of course, stay up to date on your annual eye exams.

Your Eyes Are Critical To Sports Performance

Contact your eye care team to find the perfect frame and lens for your needs.

Book Your Visit
Created by

Legal notice