How can I identify the vision problems in children and how to protect children’s eyes?
CHILDREN AND VISION
The crucial first 6 years
The fastest development of the eye and visual function (including the coordination of the brain and eyes), occurs during the first 6 years of age.
At birth, the baby has a functional but limited vision.
Acuity, color recognition and sensibility to contrast exist, but are poorly developed. A baby reacts to the light source and can move his eyes horizontally.
Between 6 and 12 weeks of age, baby can fix his eyes on th object, begin to distinguish colors, a range of vision is about 30cm. In this age baby is often disturbed by strong light.
From the 4 month baby’s eyes can continue to follow the sudden and rapid movements (e.g. his mother while moving in the room). Then the baby begins to notice distant objects, but his world remains tied to his own body and the immediate vicinity. The convergence of the normal eye is built up from 6 month.
With twelve months the baby reaches 60% of visual acuity. It can already see at greater distance, can see the details and notice strong, expressive colors. Child’s eyes follow quick movements.
With eighteen months visual function are „adult“, even though part of the visual acuity is still missing (from 0.4 to 0.6), bright colores and shadows can not be noticed yet.
Between 3 and 6 years children have already achieved full visual function.
Look after their eyes
Months: 1-2 Observe possible strabismus
Months: 6-24 Strabismus is not normal
Age: 10-18 The risk of myopia
90% of what children learn is directly related to what they see.
Some visual defects can be corrected if detected in time.
Different centering of the eyes (cross-eyes).
Before 3rd month: if eyes are not harmonised all the time, no fear! Muscles must learn to coordinate.
After 3rd mjonth: consult the ophthalmologist!
Inferior aspect of one eye (˝lazy eye“) is probably caused by strabismus or different refractional errors or eyes. It seems that the baby can see well, but sees only with one eye, which is not necessarily obvious.
Discovered before 6th month: re-education is the most simple and successful.
After 1st year: re-education takes a lot more time and chances of recovery decline by 50%.
The most common eye problems:
The child sees well at a distance, but must give effort to see at short distances. Symptoms: headaches, red eyes, abnormal eyes, fatigue, hyperactivity.
Child sees poor at a distance, complaines that can’t see good at television screen, the ball (when playing) or the school board. Preffers activities for which he needs vision in vicinity.
Vision is distorted, the contrast between vertical, horizontal and slanted lines are not perceived clearly.
Keep a proper distance from the TV screen (at least 3 meters) from a computer screen (at least 40cm).
Read and write in good light and comfortable position (good light means two different light sources).
Take a comfortable position for reading. Reading distance must be equal to the length of the forearm.
Children’s eyes are under greater risk, protect them as soon as possible!
Children’s eyes are very sensitive to light and light leakage (wider pupils, less pigmented eye). In the children’s eye lense does not filter out UV light before 10-12 years. Up to 75% of light reaches the retina (as opposed to 10% of which are due to 25 years). Light damage in the eyes is cumulative, from childhood onwards.
Protection from glare does not necessarily mean protection from UV rays – and generally of light. Colored lenses may not necessarily protect from UV light, as some white lenses can.
Babies and infants should wear a hat that protects their eyes, direct penetration of light to the eyes should be avoided.
Children should wear sunglasses systematically (on the beach, in water, when engaged in water sports,while activities in the countryside).
Before buying sunglasses or pair of corrective glasses (white), make sure that the lenses offer complete UV protection (UV protection over 380nm).
EYEGLASSES FOR CHILDREN:
Glasses-frames for children respect special morphology of their age (soft nose, fluffy cheeks, fragile ears, sensitive skin). While children always look upwards, frameworks must perfectly cover the upper part of the eye. Plastic frames, made of stable and safe materials are recommended. Manufacturers of such frameworks take into account the „difficult life“ of children frames that live with their breaknable owners. Flexible wings are recommended: they are the most resistant.
What you need to be take into account when you choose children’s corrective lenses
Lenses must be:
– Secure (unbreakable)
– Easy cleaning
– Complete protection from UV radiation
Polycarbonate lenses are recommended.
Taken from: Essilor