Be on the lookout for signs of a vision problem in your child


March break is quickly approaching, and while you may be getting the family ready for a vacation or planning fun activities to do with the children over the break – remember to keep your child’s vision care and eye health at top of mind. 
Did you know that vision problems not only impact a child’s ability to perform in school, but also in their daily activities outside of the classroom? Look out for these warning signs over the March break – they could be signs that your child has an undetected vision problem: 

Vision signs:

  • Squinting or blinking often
  • Eye rubbing
  • Tilting the head to the side on a frequent basis
  • Covering one eye
  • One eye that turns out or in
  • Reporting double vision 

Behavioral signs:
  • Complaining of headaches, nausea, or eye fatigue
  • Poor hand-eye coordination
  • Short attention span
  • Avoids reading or any activity that requires close work
  • Behavioral issues that stem from frustration
  • Poor performance in academics and athletics 
  • Experiences problems catching a ball
  • Appears clumsy or frequently bumps into things or drops things

It’s common for children to think that their vision is normal, and therefore they often won’t report their symptoms to their parents or teachers. That’s why it’s important to know what signs to look for and to have your child’s eyes checked regularly by an optometrist.
Only a comprehensive eye exam conducted by an optometrist can detect eye health and vision issues before it’s too late, because some conditions won’t show any obvious signs or symptoms. Early detection allows for an optometrist to successfully treat common conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye) and strabismus (misaligned eyes), which are best managed while a child is still young.

Make sure that your child has the best possible chance for success, by adding a comprehensive eye exam to your family to-do list over the March break.

OAO recommends that children have their first eye exam at six months-old, another at age three, and annually thereafter to ensure good vision and development. In Ontario, eye exams are covered by OHIP for children up to 19 years-old.

Find an optometrist near you.