4 Ways to Tell if Your Toddler Needs Glasses

Health Check 8

toddler glassesEvery 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?


Image via andrechinn/Flickr

toddler health


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tuffy... tuffymama

My oldest has 20/15 and always has, so he can see better than most people. My youngest seems to be doing fine. We are having him tested in a few months, just in case. He supposedly "failed" his hearing test at birth, but he has aced every one since then. That initial bad result for hearing has made me nervous about vision, reading, everything else. I just worry.

Bruic... Bruickson

I'm an optician and I work directly with an optometrist. The vision tests at school are usually inaccurate so it's best not to trust them. Many toddlers have problems with their near vision and early intervention can help correct that and sometimes they actually grow out of it on their own. Many parents beat themselves up about not catching their child's vision problems early on but you have to remember that the kid has no idea that they are not seeing clearly. To them it is all they know and the world around them looks exactly as it should. Some kids show no signs of vision problems at all. The most satisfying part of my job is watching a child put on their glasses for the first time. They are always shocked at the detail they can see, like leaves on a tree or individual blades of grass. It is awesome.

Casey Dalbey

Yes, but I waited until my older kids had their check up to schedule hers at the same time. Worried that the oxygen hood in the NICU had caused damage our dr was with me at each step of the concern. Turned it into 2 great appointments and I was completely off because her eye sight is measuring better than many 2 year olds. They made the appointments so great that my daughter loves the eye dr, assistant, and all of the techs. I highly recommend doing it at 2 or 3 even when you don't think there is a problem.

nonmember avatar Jamilyn

My son got his glasses at two. I noticed the standing close to.the TV and he would teach for something and completely miss the object he was reaching for. Needless to say he's practically blind like I am. But he is the only boy in his class with glasses, and he's pretty proud of it! :)

sassy... sassykat122

I am 30 and don't remember a time i didn't have eyewear. My parents say i was two and wouldn't eat properly, couldn't even see the food well. Walking into walls, etc. I don't know anything different, there was never an adjustment in grade school being afraid i looked different. The only thing that stunk was the stupid eye patches that i was made to wear in first grade, still remember taking them off as soon as i left my parents!

hh0y13 hh0y13

My middle child started wearing glasses shortly before her second birthday, and in hindsight, should have gotten them long before that.  Her vision is terrible.  Its too bad to go on the 20/20 scale.  She is -11 in one eye and -11.5 in the other (RX strength).  Her vision has gotten a little worse over the years, and had we not started her with glasses when she was a toddler, I would hate to think how messed up her eyes could have gotten (crossing or what not). 

wamom223 wamom223

My son has been wearing his glasses since he was 18 months and the thing that disgusts me the most is how often toddler's and pre-schoolers are given glasses and their parents don't make them wear them regularly.  I could never understand why the Optometrist didn't seem to believe me that my son wears his glasses all day until I started teaching at my son's pre-school.  There are two other children that are suppose to where glasses but don't half the time.  One mom came in the other day and asked me why there wasn't any consistency with her son's writing skills.  I couldn't believe it and it was hard to find a nice way to say, "Well bonehead your son is pretty consistent when he wears his glasses but when he comes to school without them his work goes to shit."

wamom223 wamom223

Also if you see your child has a 'wandering' eye, even if its only occasionally or only when for example someone takes their picture with a flash take your child in right away.  The sooner the doctor can see  your child for this the better chance they have of fixing it.

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