Every once in a while I'll see a toddler in glasses, and I'm surprised kids can wear glasses at such a young age. But it makes me wonder, should we be paying attention to our kids' vision so early? Does it even matter at this point -- and do glasses even do anything for kids who just barely started walking?
According to optometrist Dr. Mel Friedman, it does matter, and your toddler may sent you clues that he or she needs a vision test. This is not something you should postpone until your child is ready for school, he told Mother Nature Network. And early intervention can help correct some vision problems at a surprisingly early age. Here's what you should look for.
1. Standing too close to the TV. Not that you're letting your toddler watch TV, right? (Wink) A lot of toddlers get up close because they're excited about the bright lights and they want to touch them. But keep an eye out anyway to see if it looks more like your toddler is actually trying to get a closer look.
2. Coloring up close. Like with the TV, a toddler who colors with his face very close to the paper may be having trouble seeing well.
3. Squinting. If your toddler squints a lot away from bright lights, that could also be a tell-tale sign. It's one of those things you may not even notice until you start looking for it.
4. Play I-Spy. Dr. Friedman also suggests a few vision games you can play with your toddler to informally test their vision. You can make it fun and relaxed.
If you suspect something's up, bring up a vision test at your next pediatrician check-up. Apparently issues can be detected as young as six months! It doesn't hurt to ask -- and hopefully you'll find out it's nothing and your child's vision is perfectly fine.
Have you ever wondered if your toddler needs glasses?