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As babies, the eyes and vision develop over the first months and into the toddler years. As visual acuity sharpens, your baby's world opens up with full color and sharpness. Your child is also developing visual skills and is actually learning how to see. As a preschooler, your child is now using her vision to learn.
A preschooler now needs to learn eye-hand-foot-body coordination, fine motor skills and the vision skills necessary to learn to read.
You can help in your preschooler's vision development by:
- Providing plenty of safe opportunities to climb, walk a balance beam and use other playground equipment.
- Reading aloud to your child. Let him or her see what you read and discuss the illustrations.
- Providing a chalkboard, finger paints, and blocks of all shapes and sizes.
- Allow time for interacting with other children and for playing alone.
1st Eye Doctor Visit:
Your child's first eye exam should be done by the age of 3 or less, unless you recognize an earlier need.
Choose an optometrist skilled with small children.
Check local optometric associations or state referral systems for names in your area.
The second exam should be done by age 5.
A Thorough Exam Should Test For:
Signs of Vision Problems:
Inability to sit still for a simple story
Difficulty expressing ideas with chalk or paint
A short attention span for the child's age
Poor performance in preschool setting
Sitting very close to the television
Holding books very close to the eyes
Pulling at the eye corners when trying to view objects
Poor school performance
Red, tired eyes
Difficulty in sports (i.e. poor eye-hand coordination or judgment of distance)
Protecting Your Child's Eyes:
Television and Video Games and Computers
Overall soft lighting while watching television
Place the TV to avoid glare and reflections
Watch TV from a distance of at least 5 times the width of the screen
Limit video game time
Play video games from as far a distance as the cord will allow
Place video screen at eye level
Limit computer time (because little hands cannot reach the keyboard or mouse without being very close to the monitor).
Prohibit play with firecrackers, sparklers, darts, pea-shooters, sling shots and other missile-throwing toys (including those with rubber suction cups).
Keep younger children away from older kids and adults using these items.
Teach children never to run with sharp objects.
Do not allow children near adults using power tools, lawn mowers or household or yard chemicals.
Information provided in part by the American Optometric Association
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Your Child's Vision (eyes) Robyn's Nest ~ The Parenting Network