Most parents are well informed their child’s developmental milestones. There’s a widely-accepted timeline for skills like crawling and walking, gripping a pencil, and being able to balance. What some may be surprised to learn, is that children’s eyes also have developmental milestones, but these can be much harder to observe.
Our eyes are controlled by a series of tiny muscles, and like all the muscles in our body they need to get stronger and more coordinated as we grow and develop.
The muscles need to be able to focus just the right amount for vision to be clear, and move the eye in a very controlled way in order for us to see exactly what we want to look at.
This is why, for example, the size of print in children’s books starts off large and well-spaced for younger children, and becomes smaller and more tightly spaced in books for older kids.
Ideally, the development of these muscles happens at a rate appropriate for their school work. In other words, they can clearly see the text in the books they should be reading, or have no challenges looking at a whiteboard or presentation.
As they progress in school and the need for accuracy increases, so should the coordination of the muscles.
Sometimes, the development of these muscles can take longer or require some help. It helps to know what kind of behaviour or complaints could be related to issues with sight.
Look out for these tell-tale signs:
- Avoiding reading or similar tasks
- Short attention span for reading or similar tasks
- Inability to understand books at their reading level
- Becoming easily distracted
- Frustrated behaviour or distracting others
So what can you do to help?
The first step is to get an eye test at your local optometrist. The signs listed above can be related to many more things, so getting this test will help you narrow down the problem. Building this into your back-to-school routine can help make sure any issues with development are caught before they become a problem.
In the case that your child’s sight isn’t quite as strong as it should be, there are many options for corrective eyewear that’ll give your child some relief. They help to reduce the demand on the muscles, preventing them from getting tired, so they can focus on becoming stronger and performing their tasks more accurately.
If your child does need glasses, Transitions® Adaptive LensesTM provide a durable, versatile solution that has additional benefits like UV and blue light protection. You can read more about choosing the right glasses for your child here.
Whether your child wears glasses or not, it's also important to limit time on devices like smartphones and tablets on days when your children need to focus on school work. This helps make sure their eyes don't get too tired for the more important activities like school work.
Transitions® Adaptive LensesTM are perfect for the most common things that children do – their schooling, time outside, and use of screens. The prescription lenses assist the muscles in the eye, while adapting their tint to changing light for the best vision possible no matter where children are. They also provide protection from UV and blue light.
Ask your local optometrist about Transitions® Adaptive LensesTM for kids.