What greater gift in life is there than a child? Those little precious bundles of joy are the gift that keeps on giving – and often most appreciated and doted on during the holidays. Parents are often careful to ensure they are kept safe, dry and warm. They wrap gifts with special care and love and anticipate the holidays more than children themselves.

But, one area of health that parents often cannot know about for sure is their child’s vision. For the first 2 years they are usually unable to speak and explain themselves with any clarity. So it is up to the parents to be proactive and watch for any signs that a child might be struggling with their vision. Here are some warning signs to look for:

• If your baby’s eyes do not track after the first few months this may be an indication there is a vision problem.

• If your baby doesn’t seem interested in mobiles hanging in the bed or doesn’t interact with light or sound toys after a few months, they could be struggling with their eye health.

• If your baby’s eyes move independently of each other this should be a reason to visit your pediatrician.

• If the baby looks as if he or she is squinting even at the earliest stages of life, make an appointment with your doctor.

• If your baby exhibits anything unusual about their eyes – perhaps the eyelids droop, or maybe the eyes appear to be bulging a bit – do not hesitate to visit your pediatrician – who may then send you to a specialist.

There are a number of tests that can be run on even the youngest baby that will help to identify any vision problems. One of these may be a simple response to light. A light is shone into the baby’s eyes to see if they will react. Reaction to light is a normal physical response no matter what age a person is.

When a baby reaches a certain age, tracking an item is a common response. The eye doctor will likely hold a toy or bright object close to the baby’s face to see if they will follow it as it moves across their field of vision.

Most parents agree that their child’s sight and vision are an extremely important part of their child’s health. Be proactive in protecting it.

For more information on baby vision contact the professionals at Island Eyecare.