Dr. Randy L. Wong is the parent of two young children, and understands your concerns about your child’s healthy vision. As you watch your child’s eyes begin to track their surroundings, and as you see them following along as you read to them, many developmental stages of your child’s sight will give you important clues about your child’s vision.
During the infant and toddler years, your child has been developing many vision skills, while learning how to see. In the preschool years, this process continues as your child develops visually guided eye-hand-body coordination, fine motor skills, and the visual motor skills necessary to learn to read.
As a parent, you should watch for signs that may indicate a vision development problem. These include a short attention span for the child’s age, difficulty with eye-hand-body coordination in ball play and bike riding, avoidance of coloring and puzzles, and other detailed activities.
There are daily things that you can do at home to help your preschooler’s vision develop as it should. These activities include reading aloud to your child, and letting him or her see what you are reading. Providing a chalkboard, finger paints, and different shaped blocks, and showing your child how to use them in imaginative play; providing safe opportunities to use playground equipment like a jungle gym and balance beam; and allowing time for interaction with other children and playing independently.
By age three, your child should have a thorough eye examination to make sure your preschooler’s vision is developing properly and to screen for any potential eye disease. If necessary, Dr. Wong may prescribe treatment including glasses and/or vision therapy to correct a vision development problem.