School Children

Early detection of children's vision problems is essential to make sure your kids have the visual skills as they need to do well in school, sports and other activities.

Vision is arguably the most important of the five senses. It plays a crucial role throughout childhood and beyond. In fact, experts say 80 percent of what children learn in school is presented visually. From infancy on, there are important milestones in your child's vision development. For example, during the first several months of life, a baby can focus only on objects up close. Those objects will be seen in high contrast colors only, such as black, white and red.

But by 6 months of age, your child's visual acuity should be much sharper, with more accurate color vision and better eye movement and hand-eye coordination skills.

To make sure your child's eyes are functioning properly and working together as a team during the early formative years, schedule his or her first eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist at 6 months of age. Otherwise, a lifetime of poor vision in one or both eyes could occur.

Infographic: What You Should Know If Your Child Is Nearsighted

Warning Signs Of Vision Problems In Kids
Refractive errors are the most common cause of vision problems among school-age children. Parents, as well as teachers, should be aware of these 10 signs that a child's vision needs correction:

1. Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
2. Losing his place while reading or using a finger to guide his eyes when reading
3. Squinting or tilting the head to see better
4. Frequent eye rubbing
5. Sensitivity to light and/or excessive tearing
6. Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
7. Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports or other recreational activities
8. Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
9. Avoiding using a computer, because it "hurts his eyes"
10. Receiving lower grades than usual.