Kids’ Glasses: How To Know if Your Child Needs Them
As a parent, you have a lot on your mind, from your child’s safety and happiness, to how well they fit in at school. But how often do you think about kids’ glasses? A surprising number of children aged 6-17 – nearly 40 percent of girls and nearly 30 percent of boys – need prescription eyewear.
Not being able to see well can affect your child at home and at school. Normally, your pediatrician or school will test your child’s eyes in a vision screening. (Learn more about health screenings for kids.) But, your child’s vision changes a lot in the first eight years. So, you may notice signs that something’s off between screenings.
Plus, really young children may not be able to tell you when they they’re having trouble seeing. So here are some signs you can be on the lookout for.
When to Get Your Child’s Vision Checked
If you notice your child displaying any of the following signs, you may want to take them to see an eye doctor:
- Tilting head or covering one eye
- Sitting too close to the television or holding books too close to the eyes
- Rubbing eyes excessively
- Complaining of headaches or eye pain
- Having difficulty concentrating on school work
Kids’ Glasses: A Painless Test Is All That’s Needed
If you think your child may have problems seeing, your doctor can give them a simple, painless vision test.
Catching eye problems early can help catch conditions that could otherwise remain permanent, like:
- Near- or far-sightedness
- Crossed eyes and eye alignment
- Depth perception
Your doctor also checks for:
- Overall eye health
- Signs of more serious eye problems
Will My Child Outgrow Glasses?
Some children, especially toddlers, need temporary glasses to help their eyes develop. Glasses can help:
- Improve vision
- Strengthen vision in a weak or lazy eye
- Change the position of their eyes if they are crossed or misaligned
- Provide protection if they have poor vision in one eye
It’s hard for doctors to predict which children will outgrow the need for glasses. Some do, but it can take several years. And usually it doesn’t happen until the child is 9-12 years old.
Children who see better learn better. So, treating vision problems early can make your child’s eyes healthier for life.
Get More Information About Eye Health
For more information about eye health or any other health topic, contact the Health Information Center. The Health Information Center is a library staffed by medical librarians and certified health information specialists. The librarians there can research any health topic and get the results to you for free.
- What to do when your child gets sick
- Mayo Clinic guide to your baby’s first year
- Chicken soup for the soul: Raising kids on the spectrum: 101 inspirational stories for parents of children with autism and Asperger’s
The Health Information Center is located on the first floor the hospital. In addition to health information, you can find computers, printers, and a quiet place to take a break. Becoming a library member is free and only requires a picture ID.
Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-9 pm
Friday, 8:30 am-5 pm
Saturday, 9 am-5 pm
Sun 1 pm-9 pm