Optical

Girl colouring

It’s not always easy for kids to tell us when they’re having vision problems as they probably don’t know it themselves. But there are some signs you can look out for.

1. Acting out

Kids will be kids and act out sometimes, but it can also be a sign that they’re having trouble with their eyesight. Watch out for outbursts at home or school when they’re reading, writing and watching things – or if they’re generally having trouble with school work. It can be a sign they’re not seeing clearly.

“We suggest every child has their eyes tested before they start school – then probably every two to three years through school – but go sooner if you think there’s a problem,” says Bupa optometrist Karen Makin.

2. Having a hard time reading

“Skipping over lines while reading, being unable to remember what they’ve just read, reading the same line over or mixing up similar words – like ‘spot’ and ‘stop’ – can all be classic signs of eye problems,” says Makin.

3. Showing physical symptoms

Is your child complaining of headaches? They could be overexerting their eyes to focus. They may also rub their eyes excessively if this is going on. “Having sore eyes or red eyes are also indicators of eye issues,” says Makin.

4. Squinting or closing one eye

Do you notice your child squinting when looking at something? It could be that they’re short-sighted. It’s also worth noticing if they tilt their head or cover or close one eye while reading – they may be having trouble focusing on objects.

5. Distance or closeness to objects

Does your child complain they can’t see the TV or whiteboard? Do they sit really close to the screen? Or do they hold books far away? These can be signs that it’s time for an eye test.

If you think your child is having trouble seeing properly, book an eye test as soon as you can – it can make a world of difference. Read about what happens in a kids eye test.